Nowadays, it’s all too easy for us to ‘live for today and pay for it tomorrow’. The vast majority of adults will have some kind of credit line and will pay for things with money they have borrowed and, perhaps, the most worrying thing is that it’s becoming more accepted in society that ‘if we want it today, we have it today’.
There is probably an element of ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ amongst many of us but the problems arise because we’re not all fortunate enough to be earning at the same high income level as others and that’s when trouble can arise.
If you ask people how much income they get each month, most of them will be able to tell you. However, ask them if they know how much they have going out each month in terms of overall expenditure and you’ll receive a blank look from quite a few who have no idea just how much they spend on a monthly basis.
Many people are simply spending far more than they have coming in and with intense competition for business amongst credit card companies, many of us get seduced into having two, three and sometimes even more than 5 credit cards and are using all of them at the same time. Furthermore, many people simply pay off the minimum payment each month and, as credit cards carry high rates of interest, the balance each month tends to just keep on rising.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise to find that something’s got to give at some point as the strain on our debt levels increase month after month, whilst our incomes remain the same.
There are several courses of action that you should take if you can relate to some of the issues above.
Firstly, stop using the credit cards!!!! It can be painful to have to accept that your spending has got out of control but you’re going to have to face up to it at some point and sooner is far better than later when it might even be too late to stop creditors hassling you so cut the cards up now!
Debt consolidation in the form of a loan can be a real godsend if your credit and store card bills and other debts are spiralling out of control. It enables you to pay off all of your debts leaving you with just one affordable monthly sum to find on a set date each month. Not only will the interest rate be lower than you’re paying on your credit cards but this will enable you to plan your budget better.
And, speaking of budget….you must draw one up and stick to it, no matter how painful!
Write down all your sources of income in one column and all your outgoings in another. Include everything you can think of. Once you’ve totalled both columns up, it’s then necessary to reduce your expenditure column and bring it in line with, or preferably below, your income column. Expensive cars, luxury holidays even one night out a week at your local Chinese restaurant may all have to go. Alternatively, you may want to look at ways in which you can increase your income. However, you do it, your outgoings cannot be higher than your income.
Keep your budget regularly updated and, combined with a consolidation loan, you’ll soon see how good financial management can keep you in the black and out of the red.