The Bottom Line on Money Management from the Money Lady
List your debts
You’d probably rather get your eyebrows plucked. Or pick lint off a moist towel. But being honest with your debt is a necessary step to improve your financial situation. Take a deep breath and pull back the curtain. It might be unpleasant and a little scary. But you’ll want to sit down and make a list of your debts that include lenders, the amount of money owed, and interest rates.
Track your spending
While there are a lot of things out of our control — including the gender pay gap and wealth inequality — you can focus on what you can control. For instance, take a look at your harmful spending patterns and the last few months of your bank statements. This will help you see exactly where your money is going.
Assess your savings
You might be thinking: How can I possibly save when I can barely cover my bills, or there’s debt looming over my head? So, start small and make it simple. Make your savings goal $50 or $100. To make it even more simple, set up automatic savings. By setting a savings goal on autopilot, this will help you keep on track.
Create a budget
The word “budget” can be a turn-off, as it can sound a lot like dieting and deprivation. But it’s really about being vigilant with your money and spending habits. Coming up with a spending plan doesn’t have to be a tedious affair. The hardest part is figuring out your spending in different areas — groceries, eating out, clothes, personal items, household items, and so forth. After you get a clear picture of your spending habits, you can make some long-lasting tweaks.
Talk about it
Part of money stress comes from bottling up feelings of shame, guilt, and embarrassment. Hashing it out with a trusted pal or family member might help ease the burden you’re shouldering.
The bottom line: By following the suggestions here, you may notice an improvement in your financial stress. And, by facing your money woes head-on, you’ll be able to take steps to improve your financial situation.