This is a companion article to “Tips for Making the Right Choices to Become Financially Stable ” , which was published right before this one. This post focuses more on using credit responsibly. I have been preaching for years now that we need more personal finance/credit classes in high school! Anyway, some good tips below in this contributed post. Please add any tips you have in the comments.
If you are a single parent, chances are that you will need to rely on your own resources to provide for your kids and manage everything yourself. This can be challenging, especially if you have just gone through a divorce or separation, and you have to learn how to manage your own money and do things you never had to. Many people let their money troubles escalate because they simply ignore their commitments. Below you will find a few tips on how to avoid getting into financial trouble.
Keep a Strict Budget
The first thing you will need to do when starting a new life is to look through your current budget and create a new one with your lifestyle in mind. List all your income and outgoings, and make sure that you have money left over for emergencies. A strict budget will mean that you will not splash out on eating out or vacations when you know that you can’t afford the costs and running up your credit cards. This way, you can also save money for emergencies.
Avoid Impulse Shopping
If you would like to make the most out of your money, never go out shopping hungry or without a list. It only takes a couple of minutes to sit down and look through your kitchen storage and fridge to see what you really need. This way, you will buy the things you need and not the ones that you feel like you want at the time. The same applies to clothes shopping; list the things you are missing from your wardrobe and search for deals, instead of looking for inspirations.
Move Your Payment Dates
In case you have credit outstanding, you can get in touch with the companies to move your payment date, so you can ensure that you are not falling behind. If you moved houses or changed jobs, chances are that you might not be able to make the payments on the same date. Instead of trying to juggle money about and stressing, you can solve the problem with one phone call.
Seek Affordable Solutions
It is also crucial that you compare the different credit offers and find out exactly how much they cost each month. Before taking out a personal loan or a credit card, consider short term solutions that will be easier to pay off and generally cheaper. If you have bad credit, you will have to look for bad credit loans with affordable monthly repayments, instead of maxing out all your cards and going into the red.
Make Extra Payments When You Can
It might also be a good idea to pay off your debt on credit cards as soon as possible. If you would like to become debt-free, you will have to make additional payments, so you can clear your credit faster.
If you want to control your money instead of it controlling your life, make sure that you take charge of your accounts, expenses, and budget–and maybe consider cutting up those credit cards.