Student loans, mortgages, car payments, rent, utilities, groceries, the list of monthly expenses seems to go on and on. This list can sound overwhelming if you don’t have goals and budgets to keep you on track. Luckily, we live in the age of the Internet, and we have guides, charts and tutorials at our finger-tips. If you’re in debt and can’t seem to get your financing organized, don’t get discouraged, just take control!
The first thing that needs to be done is to identify your financial situation. Track down every debt, spending, payment, bill and income that exists in your life. After this information is lying out in front of you, it is time to create your goals. Where do you want to be, financially, how long will it take you to get there and how are you going to get there? Ask yourself these questions when crafting your goals. Figure out what habits to foster and how they will set you up for savings in the future.
Next, consider your options for recording and tracking your budget. There are plenty of online tools, spreadsheets and planners that you might find useful when organizing your finances. Or, you can always go with the old pen and paper method. Explore different websites and other tools to find the best opportunity for you. Remember, you can always ask your bank for tips and tricks on how to manage your budget.
After everything is squared away organizationally, figure your total income and expenses separately to find the difference. Make sure that your income is greater than your expenses. This is where you can really keep tabs on your budget—find out where you need to make adjustments to live comfortably. Plan on paying any outstanding debts, loans and bill first, followed by necessities and then reasonable luxuries if possible.
Financial planning doesn’t have to cause headaches if you remain organized and keep improving—you will dig your way out of debt, no problem!