December 14, 2020
Budget Your Way to Financial Freedom with these Tips from Select Title Loans in Florence, AL
While 2020 left a lot of us with financial strain and stress, 2021 feels like an opportunity to start fresh, set a solid foundation and start good habits. But, talking financials and budgets is overwhelming – and who knows where to start? Budgeting starts with simple foundations, but consistency is key. So take some of these budgeting tips, apply them to your day-to-day, and keep going to stay on top of it. By the end of 2021, you’ll be in much better shape than you started.
Outline Your Expenses
Take some time to think through all of your necessary and “set” expenses. Consider rent, utilities, streaming services, insurance, and anything else that has a set cost monthly, quarterly or annually. To get everything on a level playing field, separate your quarterly and annual expenses into monthly notes as well – so that you can get an overall view of how much month is needed monthly to keep the lights on. How do things look? Is it a larger or smaller amount than you imagined?
Now, take into account how often you get paid. If you get paid every week, or every two weeks – take a look at your expenses in that light as well. This could mean breaking your monthly expenses in half, or even quartered. If you’re able to view your expenses directly against your income, it can help you really dig into what you’re working with, and if there’s any “extra”.
If you get to this point, and things are looking a little tight, this is your opportunity to evaluate if there’s anything that you can cut. Do you really need Netflix AND Hulu? Is there a high-interest credit card that you could pay off with a title loan? Now is the time to evaluate what’s best for your financial security long-term.
Pay Off The Highest Interest Rate Debt Items First
Paying off all of your debt at once is an unreasonable ask, and usually unattainable – unless you win the lottery or examine taking out a title loan! However, you can focus your efforts on the place you can make the most difference. While all payments must go on, any extra payments or even if you have wiggle room to pay more than the minimum, should go to the debt you have that has the highest interest rate. Interest rates cause you to pay more over time, and the higher the interest rate the more you’re going to pay. So, why not tackle those first? Get them out of the way, then move on down the line with the next highest interest rate. By attacking your debt this way, you get the opportunity to put more money toward paying off that debt, rather than spreading it thin across all of your loans and debt. By putting more toward that higher interest debt, you’ll pay it off quicker and in the long run, save money. If it still feels like you’re drowning in your interest rate, our experts can help determine if car title loans are right for you and your personal finance.
Dedicate 10% to Savings
Once you’ve ensured you can cover your expenses, try look at your overall income and put at least 10% of that into savings. Savings could mean a savings account, a 401K or even just stashing cash away in a sock drawer. The important thing is that you’re saving. Yes, sometimes we get side-tracked, emergencies come up, and the holidays are hard on us. But, if you’re consistently putting money back, the hard times should get easier over time. The key to saving and being prepared in the harder times, is consistency in the better times. If you can dedicate 10 percent of each paycheck to an emergency-only fund, you’ll not only be creating a savings account, you’ll create peace of mind for you and your family.
Track Your Spending
Spending can be easy to over-do, without realizing it until it’s too late. Overspending is the #1 reason people get into financial trouble. It’s not bills or not saving, necessarily – although those things do pile up, it’s spending more than they make. Credit cards allow people to spend more than they have in their bank account, so if you’re looking to shape up your budget – consider cutting up those credit cards until you’re ready to use them responsibly again. Once you’re ready to start keeping a budget, it’s vital to track everything you spend money on. If you put everything on a debit card, this can be easy to do. If you spend cash and pay bills online, or mail checks, you’re going to have to be more vigilant in keeping track of everything. A small notebook works just fine, but you can also use budgeting websites like Mint, which can do a lot of the math for you.
Settle Up Every Month
The best way to stay on top of your budget and be consistent, is to settle up every month. Make sure that you’ve tracked all of your expenses, put your savings money into whatever fund you’ve chosen to use, and paid all of your bills. Take a few hours at the end of every month to see what you’ve spent, how you’ve spent it, and set groundwork for the next month. By taking this project on monthly, you’re able to look at bite-sized chunks that can be easier to process and evaluate. At this point, you can make adjustments where needed. Can you put a little more into savings? Can you cut back on ordering take-out? Did you get $15 out of your streaming service this month, or should you cut it off? Maybe you spent too much on work out classes – and it would be a better deal to just buy a membership? This is your time to make financial decisions and take control of your budget. If you took out a cash advance to make payments, make sure you pay those off before entering into the new month, with new paydays. That payday loan won’t pay itself back! So set a reminder on your calendar and get ready!
Give Yourself Grace
You’re not perfect, neither is your budget. Things happen. Just because you overspent one month, or forgot to add to savings, doesn’t mean your whole financial wellness has gone off the rails. It’s ok! Next month, get back on track. Everyone can have good financial health by practicing consistency and awareness. Give yourself a little grace to make mistakes, learn from them and improve your budgeting and financial wellness for the long run.
The team at Select Title Loans in Florence, AL can help you cover the difference when you’re starting to get your budget in order. With these budgeting tips, sometimes you even need a cash advance or title loan to get back on the right side of things when you’re getting started, or help you stay afloat during the months that are harder than others.