As the economy becomes increasingly unstable due to inflation, and the government continues spending billions of dollars on foreign interests, it becomes more challenging to keep up with the additional financial demands resulting from circumstances beyond your control.
With home prices and interest rates being high, supply issues affecting your standard of living, and the dollar not being worth as much as it once was, it might be time to assess your financial situation.
Here are four things you can do to help limit your costs – or perhaps even increase your income.
It is estimated that only 38% of college graduates and 26% of high school graduates make a budget. Of the individuals who make a budget, only 70% manage that budget on a weekly basis.
When you make a budget, you are more able to plan for the future, for retirement and any unforeseen circumstances. For the large number of individuals who don’t make a budget, it is more than likely that these woes are hitting them more severely.
How do you correctly create a budget? There are a variety of methods, programs, and apps that help one to begin and maintain a budget. It does not matter the method you choose to use; it can be something as simple as a spreadsheet and a calculator.
The basics include assessing all your income and then determining all of your monthly expenses. For some, this can be the most difficult part as they come to terms with their spending habits and what they may need to do to improve them.
When you begin to track your weekly and monthly spending habits, you will start to have a better picture of what you can do to reduce your costs. Often, people are only aware of how much they are spending once everything is laid out on a spreadsheet.
The price tag of that morning cup of coffee has been increasing and can total well over $100 a month. That subscription you forgot about, the many different memberships, streaming services, and unused apps add up to a surprising fee each month. It is time to reassess what you are using.
Additional expenses are also important to re-evaluate. Housing expenses – what can you do to cut costs on your electric bill? Are there other recurring monthly bills that can be alleviated? Can that monthly alimony check be reduced? It may be time to meet with a lawyer. Can you reduce your insurance premiums? All expenses are on the table as you re-evaluate your needs versus wants.
An additional way you can help to decrease your monthly expenses is through debt consolidation. This can be done by taking out a larger loan to pay off all your outstanding debts, and then just making one monthly payment. Another way to do this is to work with a debt management plan, which usually has lower interest rates.
When you choose debt consolidation, it is easier to manage your finances because the debt is all in one place and you know what your budget will look like more definitively from month to month.
The last way to help manage your finances during these tumultuous times is by increasing your income. Fortunately, we live in the information age, where access to the internet has increased a person’s ability to produce additional income in many surprising ways.
Consider starting a Youtube channel, renting out your car, renting out a room, online coaching, online tutoring, online brand promotion, etc. There is a whole world out there that, thanks to the internet, has made the possibility of reaching an exponential amount of people more possible, and the ability to produce a higher income more attainable. Now is the time to get creative and start pursuing other avenues of revenue by consistently showing up to your online hustle.
Now is not the time to take a back seat and say the situation is out of your control. Inflation may be abysmal, but your response to it and how you manage your financial situation doesn’t have to be. Make a budget, reign in your spending habits, consolidate your debt, and increase your income.