Budgeting When You’re Behind

Are you’re living paycheck to paycheck and robbing Peter to pay Paul, and can’t figure out how to get ahead? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Millions of Americans are in the same rat-race and struggling to play catch-up! We’ve got you covered with some budgeting basics to get you back on track.

  1. Assess Your Finances

If you’ve been playing ostrich with your head in the sand about your finances, it’s time to stop and take a good, long look at what’s going on. The only way to start catching up is to face it. It may be overwhelming at first, but the first step is understanding where your money is going. Get it all out on paper, every single purchase, bill, expense, everything.

  1. Categorize

Categorize your bills and expenses, then identify your needs and your wants. If you’re behind on big bills, then pare down the wants to catch up on the needs. Pause or cancel some of the recurring wants, they’ll be there as luxuries once you’ve caught up.

  1. Make Some Calls

For things like mortgage, electricity, and other important needs, pick up the phone and call the companies. Ask for leniency and ask for a payment plan to help you catch up. If you’re facing hardship due to job loss associated with current world events, you may qualify for financial assistance and extensions. You won’t know unless you try. This can also give you a bit of breathing room to prioritize the bills that can’t wait.

  1. Drop The Excess

Cut the cable, find a cheaper phone plan and start cooking at home instead of eating out. You can save hundreds a month by identifying and eliminating the excess drains on your bank account!

  1. Opportunity Knocks

Figure out a way to make some extra cash every month, whether it’s clearing out the attic and holding a garage sale or starting a side-hustle on Etsy or Fiverr. Pick up a few extra shifts at your job or look for better opportunities in your field.

  1. Get Motivated

If you need to make a goal chart to visualize your financial successes, do it! Listen to personal finance TEDTalks or find a YouTuber who gives great financial pep talks! Sticking to your new budget may be hard, but you’ll be back on top in short order!

Budgeting for the Holidays

Summer is fading fast as we head into cooler weather. The holidays will soon be upon us! And with many struggling due to Covid, now’s the time to start planning for the holiday season! Here’s our top tips to help you prepare!

Holiday Expenses

Make a list of your holiday expenses. Don’t forget to include travel, gift lists, white elephants, wrapping paper, and cards. Make use of free holiday budgeting worksheets found with a simple Google search.

Set a Limit

Figure out how much from each paycheck you want to set aside for the next 3 months and stick to it. Avoid the temptation of spending more than you can save and nix the credit cards this year, you’ll thank yourself in January. Write down your nearest and dearest and put a dollar amount next to each name. Don’t break the bank by going over and buy within your means. It’s the thought that counts!

Create Your List

Create your shopping list now and start shopping now! Buy a few presents each paycheck to space out the expenses and avoid the holiday rush. Avoid spree shopping and keep to the list.

Take Advantage of Sales

If Black Friday mayhem isn’t your thing, Cyber Monday sales will be a surefire way to snag some great deals on big-ticket items. Keep your eye on discounts and coupons from your favorite stores to help cut costs.

Handmade

If you’re the crafty type, try your hand at making personalized gifts like ornaments, wreaths or photos. Make sure to calculate crafting supply costs into your budget.

Buy Extra

Pick up a few generic gifts and stash them away. If you find yourself in a gifting pinch, you won’t have to scramble last minute.