We have just wrapped-up America Saves Week. If you are struggling to get a grasp on your finances, there is a lot of free help and resources out there like America Saves Week and of course April is financial literacy month. With all of these resources, why do folks still struggle to save and pay down debt?
First, don’t beat yourself up over your debt and lack of savings. It is what it is and fixating on it is just stressful. Do, however, acknowledge your situation. That’s the first step above all to change your situation – acknowledge what you owe.
Your next step is to self-assess. This may require help so be open to working with a person such as a Certified Financial Planner, debt counselor, or even working with technology (think spending app). These professionals can provide you with a debt analysis and guiding plan to help you out of debt. Get a firm figure on what you currently owe by learning your balances, interest rates, payments, and any other relevant terms around your debt. Don’t bury your head and estimate; really look at it.
The next step requires brutal honesty. Take a look at your monthly spending and money behaviors that got you to this point. You may need some time to accept that you are indeed going to have to change your spending habits. Acceptance is a difficult step.
Start turning your ship. It took a while to get into debt, it will take time to get out of debt. Scale back in areas where you are spending “just because” or on items and services that you truly don’t need. Stop memberships and subscriptions you no longer use. Have a sale! Raise some quick cash by selling books, art items, sports equipment, collectibles – anything you no longer need.
This is a good time to mention that you should take this step-by-step. Set achievable goals with a timeline. Acknowledge your situation, accept it, start moving forward! People often ask if they can save while paying down debt. YES! Saving and paying yourself first is a pillar of financial fitness and success. Be sure to pay yourself first even as you tackle your debt. Let’s say you come into some unexpected money. Apply the one-third rule: one-third toward paying debt, one-third to savings, and one-third to your monthly living expenses.
These steps over time will put you on the road to recovery. You just have to get started and keep going! As an independent Certified Financial Planner™, I can help you focus on your month-to-month finances. Contact me and let’s get started. #talktometuesday #getstarted #HowIcanHelpYou #GetHelp #Hireaplanner #debt #debtreduction #CFPPro #savemoney