Friday, March 27, 2015

Just Got Paid...Feeling Alright

I got paid today and I knew exactly where the money was going before it posted to my account. My savings account was paid just like any other bill. I knew exactly how much of the check I'd have left to work with. But it wasn't always this easy breezy. 

I used to be pretty lackadaisical with money. I didn't spend a lot, but for some reason I could never manage to keep a lot either. That all changed when I started paying closer attention to how I was paying bills. 

In the past, I paid bills when I remembered or could afford to (often late) or based on the due date of the statement. However that kept me scrounging to make ends meet since the bills were sometimes due at the same time.

I enhanced a spreadsheet that my Husband created to track our income to include our bills. I pay all the bills via online banking based on the spreadsheet. Below is a fake example of what went out today:
Income: 1000
Student loan: 50
Mortgage: 200 (will pay other half in 2 weeks with next check)
Cell 1: 80
Savings: 100 (see picture for a savings challenge I started last year)
Electricity: 60 (not due until next month but why wait when I have it now?)
Life insurance: 60 (due every 3 months; next payment due June but why wait?)
Credit card: 250 (paid in full)

Now, I know that out of the remaining $200 I have to prioritize my spending until my next check. Gas is a must, eating out is not. Deuce may take peanut butter and jelly for lunch instead of lunch meat. 

As you notice, I pay half of the mortgage every 2 weeks (check with your lender to see if that's an option for you). I always pay my credit card in full to avoid any extra fees (this wasn't always an option since I used to survive off of them).

Get creative to start making your money work according to your plans, not your creditors'. If you need help, I can assist you to figure out a system for your household. There are many variations to what I use. Whatever you decide, it's worth getting control of any money issues you may have. Your health and wellbeing depend on it. 

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