There are thousands of blogs, articles, books, and workshops floating around in the world that are all circulated around the same topic; how to get out of debt.
There are differing opinions and views about how to get out of debt, stay out of debt, and better manage your personal finances. Among the vast majority of those views is the same principle; track your spending.
We live in a world where money is electronic. today we have credit and debit cards, papal accounts, apple pay, Samsung pay, and Bit Coins. Money has become numbers on a screen and has lost it’s reality as total value. Studies show it is easier to spend more money with electronically than it is when you have the cold, hard cash in your hand.
Tracking your spending starts with using cash and leaving your debit card at home. Let’s say you’re going out to a local electronics store to buy a new television. You have a budget in mind of $300. You have done your research at home, you know exactly which model you want to buy and so you go out with the exact amount the television will cost in cash. You get to the store and begin walking around looking at all of the bigger, brighter, and more defined televisions. Suddenly the great model you found for $300 seems too small or too dim. What are you going to do? If you’re smart, you’ll buy your television for the $300 you planned and you’ll be happy because a $300 television is an upgrade from what you own now. Maybe you will leave the store without a television and you’ll go home and save for a week or two until you can afford the nicer model. Now, let’s pretend you are not that smart, which we all know you are. But let’s say you forgot to leave your credit card at home and guess what? You have $500 available on that card! That means you can take your cash and your credit card and buy an $800 television! Sadly, this is what most of us do on a daily basis. Maybe we our budget says we have $5 to spend on lunch. You decide to go to Panera bread for lunch and notice there’s a great lunch special for $10 and it looks delicious. You have your debit card in hand and decide to double your budget for lunch that day. Guess what, chances are you’re going to do the same thing 3 days out of the week, spend more money than you budgeted because you decided to leave home with your debit card.
See, this is where tracking your spending and paying with cash will benefit you. If you track your spending you can see those patterns developing over time and see how much you actually spend over budget each week because of using your credit or debit card instead of sticking to your budget and paying with cash.
FIRMS is an odd debt collection agency. Why is FIRMS different than most debt collections companies? Because we don’t want you to go into debt, we want to help you get out of and stay out of debt.
We hope this helps,
Nobody wants to get a notification from a debt collection agency that they have an outstanding debt, even if it’s from an amazing debt collection company such as FIRMS (we’re a little bias). Nonetheless, we at FIRMS have written a post to help you plan for your financial future and avoid falling into unnecessary debt.
Life can bring a variety of uncertain twists and turns and without being properly prepared for those funny little bumps in the road we can find ourselves struggling to financially handle them. When life brings those twists and turns and we are unable to financially pay for them, we can begin a life of debt in order to cover our unexpected bills. However, establishing a proper savings account can help us avoid going into unnecessary debt and can keep us financially liquid and stable for the rest of our lives.
There are 4 main twists and turns that can cause us to go into debt if we are not prepared.
- Unexpected Medical Bills.
- Sudden loss in employment.
- Significant life changes.
Most of these financial hiccups can be handled without being forced into debt if we are properly prepared and we can properly prepare by simply saving money. Some experts suggest having three months of expenses in your checking account at any given time along with having a separate emergency fund in order to be adequately prepared.
If you don’t have any form of savings for those emergencies and unexpected financial burdens in life, we suggest starting with a basic emergency fund where you will save $1,000. Saving an initial $1,000 is important because it will help you focus on putting money away and it won’t make the process of saving seem so daunting.
Once you have your initial $1,000 emergency fund saved you can begin setting more money aside to build your main fund of having two-three months of expenses saved and available, should you experience a sudden financial burden.
We have 5 top ways to start saving money today.
- Set a budget…AND STICK TO IT. Don’t allow yourself to deviate from your budget once it’s set.
- Don’t stress spend. Most of us tend to make little purchases whenever we want to or when things get stressful but those purchases can add up fast!
- Eat out less and cook more. Going out to restaurants for your meals can get expensive, especially if you’re doing it more than once a day. Start cooking your meals at home, it will save money and bring your family closer together too.
- Save anything and everything. You found an extra $3 in the laundry? Put in your savings account instead of spending it. No matter how big or small the amount is, put it in your savings account, you’ll be amazed how fast your savings account can reach your goal.
- Wait 30 days before making a significant, non-essential purchase. Thinking of buying that new $60 video game? Wait 30-days. You’re less likely to make those insignificant purchases after 30 days and those $60 video games can add up fast and keep you from reaching your savings goals.
Saving money for unexpected life events and bills can be fun and easy when you put your mind to it. Don’t be intimidated by the number you need to save, start saving now and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you reach your goals. Your future self will thank you for it.