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Spending What You Can Afford

August 27, 2018 | By Louis Tully


These days, it’s very difficult to live within one’s means. Sure, the idea sounds simple enough, but when you’re constantly bombarded with ads, sales promotions and financing offers everywhere you look, living within your means suddenly becomes a struggle. Ever since the first credit card was used in the 1950s (post World War II), America has adopted a “take it home today, pay for it later” philosophy, which worked well for the time, but has spiraled out of control in the decades since. Today, the credit card makes it easier than ever to pile on new debt, making it increasingly more difficult for consumers to pay for bare essentials. We’ve all been there, some even to the point of needing an installment loan just to find relief. But if you want financial relief that lasts, start taking steps today to spend only what you can afford. Here are a few tips to show you how.

Start a Personalized Budget

The first step to achieving financial freedom is to get your spending under control. To do this, you’ll need to take a look at where your money’s been going and work out a plan that puts you back in control of where it goes. Here are a few helpful budgeting tips to get started:

  • Print out a few of your most recent billing statements from your online bank account. Then, highlight all the purchases you’ve made in a given month that could be considered unnecessary. Add up all these purchases to see what you could have saved that month.
  • Compare your monthly income with your total monthly expenses (gas, groceries, electric, rent, etc.). Then, subtract your expenses from your income.
  • Figure out what you can do with that leftover income to save, pay off debt, etc.

This will take some time and might be a little intimidating at first, but it’s a necessary first step toward financial freedom.


Compare Your Wants and Needs

Being able to identify your wants and needs will become a critical part of your financial success. The key to financial growth is to stick with spending on things that you need and avoid spending on the things that you don’t. To help break it down, here’s a useful guideline to help show you how to differentiate between wants and needs:

Wants
-Restaurant food
-Movies
-Video games
-Jewelry
Needs
-Groceries
-Gas
-Electricity
-Water

It’s important to remember that it’s okay to treat yourself to some wants every now and then. The goal here is to focus your efforts on the needs so that you can minimize your spending. Make sure your needs are always met first before indulging in anything that would be labeled as a want.

Get Rid of Debt

We all owe money to some degree, but credit card debt is where you’ll want to focus your efforts here. If you want lasting financial relief, you have to stop relying on credit cards to pay for stuff. Take whatever credit cards you have and remove them from your wallet. Hide them, bury them, freeze them in ice or even cut them up if you feel it’s necessary. Do whatever it takes to stop yourself from using them. Then, come up with a plan to get them paid off. It’s always a good idea to start with the card that has the smallest balance first and work your way up from there.

Small wins lead to bigger victories.

Seek Out Help From Others

If you need help to get out of the money pit, you could always ask for it. So many choose to struggle because they’re too proud or too scared to ask for help. But whenever life gets hard, help is usually right there in front of you. You just have to reach out and grab it. Here are some sources where you might find the assistance you need in your pursuit to financial recovery:

For instant short-term financial relief, you could even reach out to your local Simple Fast Loans lender. The approval process is fast and finding out if you qualify is even faster! Don’t wait. Start your journey to financial relief today.