Everyday things are getting more costly and many of us are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Many of us live pay check to pay check but again, it is a cycle that can be broken. In many ways we create our own financial nightmare by not actively managing our money and spending it on frivolous items. If you are looking for financial liberation then you must really be cognizant of where every single cent that u make is going.
You must manage and protect your money which means that it is up to you to get your financial situation under control. One of my college professors once said “What’s the difference between a home owner and a renter?” I thought about it and did not have a clue. The professor responded “A down payment.” This statement has remained with me and it really made me think about ways to save for my first home. There are many steps that you can begin to take today to begin to save for your down payment.
The first thing that I would suggest is to make a record of all of your debt. If your debt has gotten out of hand, to the point that it is no longer feasible for you to make even the minimum payment, then you need to get in touch with your local credit counseling agency for help. Bankruptcy should always be your last option. You need to restore your credit so that lenders are more inclined to lend you money. Many of these not-for-profit credit counseling agencies will deal directly with your creditors and will negotiate acceptable monthly payment plans and can help to reduce your credit card interest rates. The next thing that I would suggest is to stop charging period! If you don’t have the cash, then you don’t get the product.
I want you to be angry for a minute. Look around your house. If you have an expensive car, a flat screen TV,designer clothes, designer purses, or an expensive cable package, then you really need to think about getting rid of some of these items and take any proceeds towards reducing your current debt. Many times I hear friends say that they are broke, but they have all of these expensive toys. Such items will depreciate in value the moment that they leave the store, which means that you have invested in items that will not make money but will make you lose money. Remember, when you are broke, none of the designers that you made rich by buying their products are reaching out to you to cut you a check.
Think really hard about the things that you are currently paying for that you do not need and just get rid of them. Rather than spend so much time in front of the TV, find other ways to entertain yourself and your family. There are always free events that you can attend and they are usually well advertised.
Stop trying to compete with what people have and worry about yourself and your financial independence. Avoid buying things on impulse.
You need to learn how to balance your checking account. Just this week alone, in reviewing my statements I found that I was erroneously billed $69.00. I reached out to the company and they agreed to credit my account for the $69.00. In addition, I received a medical bill for over $100.00 as a result of no-show fees. I was able to substantiate the fact that I did not make appointments on the dates of service in question. As a result, they told me to disregard the bill. If I was not examining these items carefully I probably would’ve paid the bill.
Prevent paying additional fees simply because of convenience. For example, if you need to take out money from an ATM make sure that you do so from one of your bank’s branches. These days withdrawing money from any institution other then one of your bank’s branches can cost at least $2.00 per transaction. In addition, your bank may also penalize you and charge you an additional $2.00. If you do this just once per week, the total cost to you in one year will be $208.00. That can be two weeks worth of groceries!
Stop acting like you are too proud to return your cans and bottles back to the supermarket for your $.05! Yeah, I said it! Number one, it’s always good to recycle. Number two, if you think about how many of these products you buy on a yearly basis that $.05 can add up to a couple hundred dollars per year. Currently, I have over ten dollars in cans and bottles and I will cash in. These cans and bottles were purchased beginning this past August to the present.
Learn how to clip coupons for additional savings. These days you don’t need to buy the Sunday paper anymore. Companies are dying to get you to buy their products and they often provide coupons that you can print from the internet. When you use these coupons with the coupons that the supermarket may offer, the savings can be astronomical. I see people in the suburbs do this all of the time and no one is too proud. Chances are they are home owners because they saved enough for the down payment. Why can’t it be you?
by Nueve Rodriguez