Although this subject has been widely discussed online and on financial magazines, it never ceases to amaze me how people always manage to ignore every single piece of advice and just continue doing their thing, which by the way is wrong! It does not matter how hard we financial advisors and financial counselors emphasize it, some skulls are indeed too thick to get through. By this statement, I do not mean to cause offense of any kind, I am just trying to call attention to this matter.
What concerns me is not the fact that the countless benefits of budgeting and saving are overlooked, but the increasing problem of falling in debt over and over again. Seriously, what is the point? I have had clients become free of debt in a relatively short period of time, start rebuilding their credit, only to fall back deep in debt within a few months time. It is not only pointless but also unhealthy, not only for the individual’s financial situation but also for his psyche. It will become a constant source of stress which can develop into something physically harmful: I have seen this happen all too often, unfortunately.
What I want to point out is that with a little bit of monthly effort, chances are you will not only get out of debt but also never fall back in it.
Budget Your Way Through Life
When most people think of living on a budget, they get horrid images in their minds of families cutting down on all their expenses and outings and just living to save every single penny for the rest of their miserable, unpleasant lives. This idea could not be more distant from reality. What is more, it is plainly ridiculous.
We mean a whole different thing when we advise our clients to start living on a mild budget. Yes, it is true that the main goal of this is to gain control of ones finances and ultimately save, but the process takes a good amount of time to get used to and cannot be carried out overnight. I sometimes compare it to starting out on a diet. If you suddenly change your faulty eating ways from one day to the other, you can expect this diet last days, weeks at its most, but it will most likely not succeed. Some might be able to pull it out, but it is not common.
Start Out Slow
The first step to take if you want to start controlling your finances, is to have a very accurate idea on how much money flows monthly in your household. Get a clean picture of your money ins and outs to start with, and then move on to bigger things. Take note of most of your expenses, so as to be able to recognize saving opportunities, or, in other words, unnecessary expenditures. Let us face it, not everything you buy is useful. There might be some things you could do without, and our objective is to spot them in order to slowly build up savings.
Having some back up money to fall back on if things get difficult is always an excellent idea. We can never know when an emergency might arise.