Thursday, August 17, 2017

Freedom Debt Relief Has A Quick Guide to Stable Finances



Everyone wants to avoid financial stress, especially debt, but it’s so easy for things to get out of control. Between avoiding impulsive purchases, keeping up with bills, and covering surprise expenses, there’s a minefield of potential obstacles to staying on track.

But it needn’t be so hard. The key is to leverage the power of your daily and monthly habits. Over time, small adjustments to your daily spending habits will pay huge dividends. More than preventing yourself from going into debt, you’ll be able to leverage the power of savings.

Freedom Debt Relief deals with plenty of consumers and has seen what happens when things go wrong. To help you make sure things go right, we’ve put together this quick guide.


Budget Differently


You’ve been told to make a budget before, but have you been told how? The problem with most budgets is that they assume that you need to fit your income to your budget.

While, of course, you don’t want to spend more than you earn, you should make your budget based on your whole life, not just your income. Lay out your life goals. Life goals include long-term goals, like retirement savings and short-term goals, like your desired lifestyle. If you want to take a two-week vacation each year, budget for that too. 



By focusing on what you want first, you can decide whether you need to make more money or where you can cut back to make those goals happen. Above all, a budget should set out your priorities so you can see what’s worth spending money on and what you can cut out.


Be Responsible with Credit Cards


Some savings experts will tell you to avoid credit cards altogether. But credit cards are a useful tool. You just have to use them responsibly. Only use your credit cards to pay for things you can afford. 

There are few things worse for your long-term financial health than partial, late, or unpaid credit card payments.Partial payments result in a snowball of interest, while late and unpaid payments ruin your credit score. 

Research credit card offers extensively before you choose to use one. All the information about fees and costs is there. You might have to do some digging to find it, but there’s no excuse for being surprised by a credit card fee.


Change your Shopping Habits


Whether it’s transportation, entertainment or living expenses, you can find ways to save on almost everything. Shop for clothes at second-hand stores when possible. Use promotional offers for outings to movie theaters or restaurants. 

Enroll in loyalty programs to save on groceries and gas. Wait for desired items to go on sale, and only buy certain food when it’s in season.

It may seem like a pain, but once you get in the habit of finding savings on everyday items, it will become second nature. The best part is that all those little savings add up to allow you to save for retirement and plan fun vacations.


Create a System for Bill Payment


Kevin Gallegos, of Freedom Debt Relief, recommends setting up, “a system that works for you and that you’ll use consistently.” Seems pretty simple, right? Yet, so often consumers must pay an overdraft or late fee. Avoiding those sorts of easy-to-avoid expenses is another habit that pays dividends over time.

Find out what works for you. Gallegos says that it could be “automatic online payments, a spreadsheet, a cell phone reminder, or a list on the refrigerator.” All that matters is that it gets you to pay your bills and cash your checks on time.


Map out Long-Term Goals and Review Regularly


“Financial success” is different for everyone. That’s why it’s so important to dedicate some time to figuring out what you want to accomplish and what that’s going to cost. 

No one would jump in a car with only a vague idea of the route to their desired destination and expect to arrive without getting lost. So why would anyone expect an easy road to their financial goals without extensive planning?

Create milestones for your goals so you can figure out when and how much you need to save. Then, review your finances regularly—ideally once a month—to make sure you’re on the right path.

By reviewing your finances, you serve yourself in two ways. First, you’ll be in tune to your spending habits so you can adjust accordingly to stay on track. And second, you can keep track of any discrepancies on your credit card and bank statements.

Most credit card companies have a limitation on when you can dispute a claim. So, even if you have a legitimate claim, you might not be able to work it out if you make the claim too late.


Pay Yourself First


Monthly savings cannot be viewed as anything less than mandatory. Gallegos of Freedom Debt Relief recommends considering additions to your savings as a requirement, rather than a chore. 

Treat it like a required payment to your future retired self who will need financial support. Don’t overextend yourself by paying too much, but find some room in your budget even if it means sacrificing some fun money.


“Know what you have to spend—and spend less”


This last tip comes directly from the Vice President of Freedom Debt Relief. He says that learning to live below your means, “taking responsibility and choosing where your money goes,” could help you immeasurably in avoiding financial trouble.

To use this tip, reevaluate your budget completely. Search for expenses that you can reduce or eliminate and stick to your plan. Err on the side of cutting too much—you can always add subscriptions or memberships that you end up missing. Chances are though, you won’t even notice they’re gone.

Achieving your financial goals is most easily achieved by making small changes to your daily routine. Consistently enact these changes to your spending and savings habits, and you’ll be amazed at the difference small things can make over time.



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