Budgeting Your Money in a Tough Economy
Budgeting your money and staying in control of your finances is never easy, but the difficulty of it soars in a troubling economy. Money is tight just about everywhere right now, and it’s more important than ever to take care of the money you’ve worked so hard to earn. Here are some tips:
- Have an emergency fund. Try to save as much as you can in case you or a family member loses their job so you can make it through the next few months. Stash away at least three to six months’ worth of income. Even better, stash away eight to 12 months’ income – especially when the job market is weak.
- Make every penny count. Even if saving a small amount of money may seem insignificant, it will add up in the long run. That $4 mocha latte you have three times a week adds up to a whopping $624 in one year!
- Reduce debt. In uncertain economic times, interest rates rise, so one of the best things you can do is reduce your debt. Pay off high-rate credit cards first, and then try not to put more purchases on them. Also look into refinancing high-rate loans to lower your payments and pay the bills off faster. Feel free to contact Mountain Community for a personal loan or a line of credit.
- Search for deals. Do all you can do to get the best prices at grocery and department stores. Comparison shop, especially for big-ticket items. Scour ads closely and stock up on things you know you'll need in the future when they are on sale. Start cutting coupons – it will be worth the time you put into it.
- Track your spending. Sit down every month and create a spreadsheet of your finances to help you keep track of unnecessary spending. This will immediately help you sort out what you need vs. what you want. If you need to cut back, you can decide which areas are the easiest to keep from spending. Once you do this, follow through with your budget and you’ll be on the road to financial control.