Debt Plea: Staying out of debt isn't as hard as you think
Posted By: Matt in Budget on 03/10/2017 at 10:22:33
As much as we opine about money, we agonize over saving it and wonder aloud why we don't have more of it, all of our financial goals and dreams are at our fingertips if we actually come to one very important money saving realization.
It really isn't that hard to stay out of debt. Now, I realize we're saddled with plenty of cliches and jargon as far as debt goes, such as "you have to spend money to make money," but this isn't about a rich investor or a home buyer that has gone into business purchasing property but rather the individual, the couple, the family that is trying desperately to save money and live comfortably, versus the alliterative and that is going from paycheck to paycheck and hoping to make rent or mortgage and keep the bills afloat from one month to the next.
The fact remains that staying out of debt is more about understanding two elements of saving money: budgeting and subsequently living within the means of your income.
Debt truly surfaces because you want more than you can actually afford (i.e. keeping up with others) or you have no idea what you're spending and then when it comes time to pay bills or look for money for emergencies, you realize that you don't have anything saved due to the lack of a budget and spending too much, and thus you start to dip into credit cards, lines of credit or borrow money, when all the while you could have been saving your own.
The budgeting part is quite easy, although it is truly remarkable just how bad we are at it, as a whole on average. Budgeting is the simple act of knowing what you spend versus what you make but just having an idea of it isn't good enough. You have to write this information out, have plan and know down to the very last dollar what you are earning and if you can afford a certain amount for a mortgage, car payment and other expenses that might be out of your pay grade at the moment. A budget also allows you to cut expenses that are either too high and don't justify their value (i.e. cable television) or figure out areas of it that you can cut back and alter slightly to save.
Debt is everywhere and with that comes temptation to spend, or in this case overspend. When you realize that budgeting and smart decisions aren't difficult and yet are the backbone of saving money, all the financial freedom in the world will be kindly waiting at you doorstep.
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