Saturday, January 24, 2015

Debt Solutions: How to Get Your Struggling Finances Under Control

If you are struggling with finances, it can be difficult to get them under control and get a handle on your debt, but there are ways to do so that don't take a lot of effort.

Set a budget

Budgeting is important especially now in days. Having a budget allows you to have better control over your personal finances in terms of how you save, invest and how you spend your money. One reason your finances may be out of control is that you aren't keeping track of how much money you are spending. 

If this is the case, you need to set a budget. Do a monthly accounting of all your must-haves, such as car insurance, food, rent and utilities. Once you have done that, decide how much you have left over. If you are spending more than you are taking in, make cuts where you can.

Look for ways to save

Discretionary income should be the first place to cut if you are spending too much. Eat out less and go to fewer movies and concerts, for example. There may be other ways to save, too. For example, if you aren't bundling services, such as phone, cable TV and Internet, you are probably missing out on discounts. You might also be able to save on those services by not paying for more than you need. You may find you don't need unlimited data and texting on your wireless phone or unlimited movie channels through your cable service.

Use credit sparingly

You need to have good credit, but credit cards often make unnecessary purchases more tempting. Many people think that they can buy something now and pay it off later when they have more funds. The problem with that sentiment is, is that kind of mentality becomes a habit. It becomes a bad habit to the point where you find yourself in credit card debt because you’re spending too much now and paying it off later and not having enough money to do so. If you are using your credit card like free money, you are headed for trouble. 

Credit cards should only be for emergencies or for things you can pay back right away. If you are using your credit cards to live beyond your needs, you need to stop right away. Also, if you have too many credit cards, you might want to consider closing some of those accounts and limiting yourself to one and maybe two credit cards if necessary. Keep in mind that you do need credit. There might come a time where you need to take out a loan to buy something such as a house, but you need good credit, which is why you should only use your credit cards sparingly to make sure it doesn’t get out of control.

Consolidate debt

If you are carrying credit card balances, you likely are paying high interest rates. To get better control of this debt, you should consolidate the balances onto cards with lower rates. If you do so and concentrate on paying down the balances, you can slowly eliminate your debt and take better control of your finances.

Take advantage of sources of cash

If you are getting payments through a structured settlement, lottery winnings or other financial vehicle, you can work with a company like to sell your future payments and get a lump sum payment, which you then can use to pay down debt faster.

With a little planning and effort, you can get your spending under control, which will then allow you to pay off debt and no longer have to struggle with your finances.

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