Monthly rent or mortgage payments, trying to build an emergency fund, planning for retirement, or even choosing between groceries or other necessities and paying utilities – many people struggle with money issues on a regular basis. You should be able to feel comfortable with money issues and confident that you can manage them instead of your money issues stressing you out and causing you problems.
No one should have to live with stressful and worrisome financial problems. No matter what your income is, you can always take control of your money and work to become debt-free. There’s no magic button to instantly solve all your money problems, but when you actively manage your finances, you can feel confident that you are in control.
If you feel overwhelmed by your expenses and debts, you need to sit down and understand your income and spending. When you want and need to pay off debt while living paycheck to paycheck, you need a starting point to make a plan. That means understanding your income, debt, and spending, and creating a budget.
Assess Your Total Debt and Spending
To understand your total finances, write down all your sources of monthly income, all your debts, and all your recurring expenses. If your income covers all your spending, you are doing great. If your spending exceeds your income though, you need to take control and take action.
Track your spending for two weeks and eliminate as much “extra” spending as possible. Cut up credit cards except for the lowest interest card for emergencies only. Freeze any “wants” and stick to basic and essential “needs” for at least six months.
Curtail dining out and switch to free leisure activities rather than costly extras like movies, amusement parks, and costly trips. Instead of driving into the city, stay local and explore your hometown or nearby towns. Skip the costly coffee shops and bakeries and try your hand at coffees at home in the mornings and homemade muffin and cake recipes. Try one or two meatless days a week and switch from convenience foods to healthy homemade meals.
When you understand your income, debts, expenses, and spending and make some changes, you can use the money you free up to pay down debt.
Create a Budget
When you know your exact income and expenses, you can create a budget. Keep a monthly tally of your income, along with your monthly expenses for rent or mortgage, utilities, food, insurance, miscellaneous like home maintenance, and credit card payments if any. Stick to your budget by controlling spending, and increasing income if possible by getting a part-time job or selling unused household items.
If you find that you need money unexpectedly that is not in your plan, you can get an online loan in minutes with Tico Rico Te Ayuda in Arizona. This can help you out in a pinch and help you stay on track when you are trying to pay down debt while living paycheck to paycheck.