You come home after a long day at work only to find numerous unwanted bills in your mailbox. As you sift though them, you start to get that sinking feeling. You know there is no way you can afford to pay all of them on time. It’s at this time that you remember that you have a vacation coming up and you want to make the most of it. What you really need now is a money makeover and this is how you do it.

No makeover is ever complete without a before picture. Take a financial snapshot, sometimes called a net worth statement. Imagine you are going to sell everything you own and you are taking that money to pay off all your debts and normal monthly expenses like rent, cable and telephone bills. Then count what is left, if you didn’t know what net worth meant before, you sure will now.

The next step to take is to make a plan. You need to write down all the steps you need to take to achieve a goal. You’re finances should be reasonable, specific, and realistic. There should be a time frame for all your goals so that you know that you can handle all those payments that need to be made.

This step is going to be the most difficult. You really have to stop spending! That means most if not all those luxuries must end, the manicure or pedicure, the monthly hair cut, the shopping every payday, that all has to stop. You are never going to get financially caught up if you just keep spending!

If and when you do spend, which should only be for necessities at this point like groceries, keep track of what you spend. Write down everything, this will give you a good visual like a monetary blueprint. You might even be able to find ways to cut corners and save.

And that is ultimately what everyone needs to do. We all need to save, it never occurs to people that an emergency can come up and you will need extra money to cover them. Let’s say you need to go to the doctor and it turns out you need surgery. You need to be able to cover the costs that your insurance coverage does not and you need to be able to survive for those days you are recovering and not working. What happens when you get into a car accident even though it’s not your fault? You should have money on reserve so that you are not digging yourself a hole you may not be able to get out of. Using credit cards that you cannot afford to pay off in full at the end of the month is only delaying the problems.

One way to save is to downsize. If you are struggling with your mortgage move into a smaller home or an apartment. You could try renting out a room. Sell what you don’t use, unless it’s a family heirloom. I know you probably have a desk, table, or even computer around the house that doesn’t get used at all. You might have baby clothes that don’t fit anymore. You can use websites like or or you can go the more traditional route and have a yard/garage sale. It will be successful and you will have extra cash in your pocket. Along the lines of selling, if you have two cars, get rid of the one you use the least. When you do you will have what seems like a fortune because you don’t have to spend your hard earned money on the car payments, insurance, registration, and gas.

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