Budgeting During Times of Crisis
Assess your Money Flow Have you ever gotten close to the end of the month and realized you weren’t sure if you had the money to pay all of your bills? I’m talking about rent, car payments, insurance, or something that could really affect you and your family if you don't get it paid. Maybe you’re trying to save but your money habits are getting in the way. Then again, maybe you’re simply getting tired of not feeling well-informed about your financial situation and you don’t really feel prepared for the unexpectedness of the future. The uncertainty can be stressful, and this is why getting clarity on exactly what you're working with when it comes to your money flow is essential on your journey to stability and wellness. Save yourself the anxiety of trying to “figure something out,” and feel more confident overall with your financial life by knowing the amount of money you earn and spend each month. Step One: Find out where your money is going each month. Swiping cards or clicking buttons is probably the most popular way we spend money. We spend so quickly that we forget about those subscriptions we signed up for, bills we paid, luxury items we bought and how much it all really costs us at the end of each month and over the years. You can find out how much your mandatory monthly expenses are, and exactly how much goes toward your bills every month, so you always stay informed about your financial circumstances. Where do I start?
Know how much your bills are each month. Use the good, old fashion pen and paper to write down all of the monthly expenses you can think of and how much they cost. Track things like phone, electricity and car bills, your rent or mortgage payments, and so on. You can also use this Monthly Expense Tracker to keep up with your list.
You can double check your transaction history by logging into your online bank or credit union account and reviewing your outgoing transactions from previous months. You can also check your emails for payment confirmations to help you see what you’ve been paying for.
Tip: Printing these records, or keeping a written log of your mandatory monthly payments, can really help you stay organized and keep from defaulting on any payments.
What if I share financial responsibilities with someone else? If you share financial responsibilities with someone else in your home, consider using a Partner Payment Tracker to keep a visual record of when payments are being made and to help keep all parties accountable.
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