L is for Lost in Debt – Take Control with a Solid Financial Plan
Money troubles happen, whether you are living paycheck to paycheck or bringing home a hefty salary. When we find ourselves spending more than we can afford this leads to “money troubles” which in turn can cause lots of stress in our day-to-day lives; but the good news is it doesn’t have to be this way.
It may not happen overnight, but with a solid plan and perseverance, we can learn to get out of debt, eliminate overspending and master our personal finances for the future.
First, we must change our mindset. We all need money to live, but we do not need money to make us happy. Over-spending becomes a problem when we use the money to make us feel better, and unfortunately, it is only a temporary fix. Keep this in mind to gain control of spending haphazardly and incorporate the following:
Budget, Budget, Budget — If we don’t know where our money is going we sure can’t control our spending. The key is a “written budget” or using an “app” to track spending. Next, we need to identify all expenses and then divide them into Essentials and Non-essentials. To become financially free, we must begin to let go of non-essentials. Remember they are NON-Essentials! One by one they need to disappear in order to move on to the next step:
Save, Save, Save — Invest in yourself by paying your future self first. No amount is too small and the sooner you start, the more compounded interest you will earn. Open an IRA or another tax-free investment account and start saving, even just a little every month.
No More Debt — Learn to live a debt-free life; it is possible if we live within our means. It feels great when our car, credit card debt and student loans are paid off, and the only outstanding bill is our mortgage (which by the way is growing equity year after year). So go ahead and cut up those unneeded credit cards.
Become a Minimalist — Clear the clutter from your life and begin making wiser choices with your money. We don’t have to deprive ourselves, but we do need to identify those purchases that are not adding value to our lives. For instance, do we really need a new car every few years? Or is our car reliable enough to last years after it’s paid off? Usually, the latter is the case.
Give Back to Others — by donating skills and time to others; financial woes become emotionally smaller. Helping others and learning to have gratitude can change our view of all that we do have. This change alone can contribute to empowering us to reach our future financial goals.
Now, this won’t be an easy task, but it will be a rewarding endeavor. So get going today, do your research, plan your budget and stay true to the plan for living a debt free life.
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