By: Blondie L. Clayton
Money worries have many different voices: “How am I going to pay my phone bill? My lights are almost two months behind. The rent is due. What are we going to do about the mortgage? We don’t have money for football uniforms. No field trip. That cost money. No, you can’t have that, it cost more than what we have in our budget. They’re coming to take the furniture back; our payment is overdue. The kid needs her braces removed but the dentist won’t do it unless we pay the rest of the money we owe. I’ve lost my job. I’m sorry, honey, they have downsized my position. If I want to keep my job I will have to take a cut in pay. How can I afford these child support payments? I can’t take this any more. What are we going to do?”
A mind that is cluttered with money worries may be flooded with one or two or all of these thoughts at one time or another. Maybe you were there once in your life, maybe not. Most people with financial troubles are anxious, confused, angry, harbor feelings of hopelessness, insecurity, and uncertainty about future financial outcomes. Consequently, this state of mind affects everything, including work performance.
It’s time for a financial assessment. Is your trouble because you have maxed out your credit cards? Maybe you have more month than money. Do you have medical expenses? Are you sick and can’t work? Have you lost your job, or been downsized? Where did the shortage originate?
Once you have assessed where the problem lie, then you can look at remedies. Money troubles in plain simple English are not enough money to cover your present lifestyle. The causes may or may not be within your control.
When the funds are low, the logical answer would be to make more but what most people do is fret about it. Some spend more time worrying about what they don’t have while others add on a second job.
Money troubles are not going to go away without something changing. Worry will not make up the deficit but initiating a plan of action will.
Step I — Make a list of all of your monthly household living expenses: mortgage, rent, utility bills, etc.
Step II — List Your Debts (creditors you owe)
Step III –List your entertainment
Step IV — List miscellaneous (lunch, coffee, snacks, etc.)
Step V — Write in how much you pay on each. Total that amount.
Step VI — List your sources of income (job, spouse, etc.). Take the total from this and subtract it from what you spend on household, debts and entertainment. If that figure shows you are not covering your expenses, look back at your expenses; see what you can eliminate from entertainment. Make a list of other areas you are expending money, such as lunch, dry cleaning, hair cuts, etc.
Try taking your lunch from home rather than buying lunch. The average lunch cost about $7.00. That $7.00 for five days comes to $35.00 a week, totaling $140.00 a month. Imagine if you, your wife and children spent the same amount weekly, that would amount to a partial mortgage or rental payment.
Take a look at your Debt. Begin to work from the smallest to the largest. Take the money you saved from not buying, let’s say lunch, and redirect the total amount towards paying off the smallest debt first.
As you pay off each debt, take that money and add it to the next smallest debt, working your way to the largest, until you have eliminated your debt completely. While you are doing this, examine your household budget.
Look at how to eliminate some of your other expenditures; for example, if you have a high cell phone bill, you might want to exchange that cell phone for one with a more fixed rate. Maybe instead of hiring a lawn service, you could cut the grass yourself. Perhaps you might visit Barber or cosmetology trade schools to obtain these services at a reduced rate.
Look at what you are already doing first to find the extra money. If you still need more to make up the deficit, then you might look at your skills and talents: start a home-based business. It’s something you could do as a family.
Money troubles can be conquered, if you are willing to take a few extra steps. Don’t look at the impossible debt mountain, began the climb one step at a time. And, yes, it is okay to reward yourself along the way but keep in mind where you are headed. Don’t overdo it. Once your debt is eliminated, don’t spend the excess money; instead, add it to your future savings options.
Understand that paying your debts down will not take place overnight but if you are consistent it will happen.
Blondie L. Clayton is a Realization StrategistTM, Publishing Coach the co-founder of the Online School of publishing, Book Publishing and Marketing Coach; works as a freelance writer; hosts the “Author’s Spotlight” at Positive Change Radio.
Download your free debt free starter kit at www.blondie2book.com
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