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Have you found yourself in a bit of a pickiest? Take a deep breath. I’ve been there. I thought I was really on top of my finances, only to wonder where ally money was going.
Step 1 to reclaiming your finances: Create a budget. For those of you who have previous bad experiences with a budget, or have never tried a budget but it sounds restricting, or who just don’t have time for it or it’s too hard… Decide now how bad your situation is and what you’re willing to do to get out. If you’re not willing to work to help yourself then stop whining and accept your situation.
You can create your own budget with a spreadsheet, or download the Every Dollar app (for free!) and use the template provided. I do recommend downloading the app. It has saved me so much time and it’s so user friendly!
Once you figure out how much you make and where it NEEDS to go, start cutting costs. Get a copy of your last bank statement and go through every transaction. Eliminate mindless spending (subscriptions, buying overpriced snacks at convenience stores, eating out, buying beverages from vending machines, impulse buys).
Unsubscribe. Subscriptions are hidden expenses. They happen without you knowing or thinking about it. Unsubscribe from anything you don’t absolutely need.
Stop eating out. This is so freaking expensive. I’m very happy with income, but I can’t afford to eat out at lunch every day! Figure out how much you want to spend on eating out and stick to it. Start packing lunch and cooking dinner at home, and get your beverages from the grocery store (or better yet, cut them out completely!).
Stop drinking calories. My husband loves flavored drinks. I don’t get it. Water is free, easy to come by, and most of us our extremely dehydrated and could use a ton more of it. You can actually save money by properly hydrating and keeping your empty calories to a minimum.
Don’t buy any new clothes/shoes/accessories. News flash: you can designer clothes with the tags still on them at Goodwill. I’ve saved hundreds, if not thousands of dollars shopping Goodwill and other thrift stores for cute designer outfits.
Sell your big, fancy, expensive car. Get something good on gas and better on payments (or NO payments). This is an extreme. But I do know someone who thinks they’re “done” financially, while they pay way too much on a vehicle that guzzles gas just so they can look cooler and have a vehicle that goes off road. Do you know how many times that vehicle has gone off road? I’m gonna say that feature wasn’t a necessity.
Sell all your other big, fancy, expensive shit. List clothes you don’t need on poshmark, craigslist unused clutter and furniture, have a garage sale! Downsize and live within your means for a while.
Get another job. Heaven forbid… more work?? But you’re already so busy!
As I’ve stated before, if your situation is really that bad then decide if you’re willing to work your way out or accept it for what it is. If you really need extra income then work another job. Work from home, baby sit, pet sit, clean houses, deliver pizza, wait tables at the local diner… do SOMETHING to earn a few extra dollars. It doesn’t have to be another full time job with benefits. Find something part time with high pay.
Lastly, start giving. Tithe 10% of your income. I firmly believe that this simple act of faith will be your greatest investment and your generosity will return to you. Pray over your finances and surrender them and your worried to the Lord. Ask Him for the strength to do what it is you need to do to get back on track. And ask for prayer and support from your friends, family and community.