Many times when I am done counseling someone they tell me they feel more hopeful. But when the session starts, they tell me: “You have probably never seen a situation as bad as mine.” The truth is usually I find their situation is pretty average because we all have debt, financial obstacles, and goals we are trying to achieve.
Depending on where we are in our life journey (i.e. how old we are) we probably have different types of debt. If we are just out of school we may have student loan debt and a car payment. After working for a while we may have student loan debt and a mortgage. As we continue to age, we may have a mortgage and may be saving for our children’s college and our own retirement. Debt is normal; it’s when it gets out of control that’s the real problem.
We all need to have a plan on how to repay debt, overcome financial obstacles, and meet our financial goals – then we will be more hopeful.
Make A Plan
The dreaded B word. Understanding how much income is coming into your household and understanding the amount you need to meet your monthly expenses, debt payments, and savings goals will make you feel more hopeful. It gives you control; don’t let your finances control you.
Living on a budget is valuing your money enough to know how much you have and how much you can spend. And respecting yourself enough to bother.
• Make saving a line item in your budget.
Decide what you want to save for. Your children’s college, your retirement, a trip. Pay that ‘bill’ just like any other bill and commit to believing that money is not there until you use it for what you were saving it for.
• Start now.
Time goes so fast. Remember when you graduated? Your children were born? When you were 25. It was just last month – right?! The sooner you start with a plan to pay off your debt and save, the sooner it will come to fruition.
A budget is a living/breathing/changing thing. Changes happen in our lives and our finances all the time. We might need a new car sooner than we anticipated because of an accident that was not our fault. (Personal experience here.) We might get a raise! Our monthly mortgage payment may increase due to an increase in property taxes. Gas prices may skyrocket because of why gas prices skyrocket. Continue to adjust and work your plan and reach your financial goals. Because……..
We all have debt. We all have financial obstacles and goals. And, with a plan we can repay our debt and reach our financial goals. And be more hopeful in life.
Examining, reducing, and controlling expenses plays a powerful role in being able to live within your income, save money, and be able to pay for more important things.
If you are not quite sure where to begin with improving your finances, give LSS a call at 888.577.2227 for your free financial counseling session or GET STARTED ONLINE. Our experienced financial counselors will help you create a realistic budget and give you concrete steps to conquer your debt faster and save money.
Author Paige Best is a Certified Financial Counselor with LSS Financial Counseling and she specializes in budget, debt, and credit counseling.