5 Essential Ways to Keep Your Finances on Track

FinancesEveryone wants financial stability. However, many people struggle to keep things on track as they fall into debt and make unwise financial decisions. For people in addiction recovery, addressing financial health can be extremely beneficial because money issues are a common cause of relapse. So, if you’re a recovering addict, it’s more important than ever to get your finances in line. Here are some of the best ways to track your finances so you can stop worrying about the future of your money.

 

1. Determine Your Net Worth

 

One of the best ways to measure your financial progress over time is with your net worth. Net worth is a measure of your assets (everything you own) minus your liabilities (everything you owe). If your financials are in good health, your net worth will grow as you continue to earn an income and contribute to your savings. If your net worth is negative or starts to go down, this is an indication that you need to cut spending and try to save more. Take inventory of all of your debt and outstanding balances. Make note of interest rates and how much monthly payments are costing you. Your net worth will likely benefit from paying off some debts completely instead of contributing to interest each month.

 

2. Develop a Monthly Budget

 

The simplest way to stay financially healthy is to avoid spending more than you make. If your net worth is decreasing, then you need to cut back on your spending or find alternative sources of income. If it’s doing well, stay on track by budgeting your expenses and savings. The Balance recommends creating a budget to help you prioritize your money and plan for your future. Gather your financial statements, all sources of income, and list everything you spend money on each month. After totaling your monthly income and expenses, you can make adjustments by removing unnecessary spending or allocating more money into your savings.

 

3. Keep Your Bills Organized

 

Keeping on track of bills will help you avoid paying interest and late fees. Keep all of your bills in one place and open them as soon as they come in. You can even scan your paper bills to store them with your digital bills if you have the time and technical know-how. Don’t leave bills unopened because you’re already behind or you don’t want to face how much you owe. This can make your financial situation worse, especially if there are unexpected fees on them that you won’t discover until much later.

 

4. Make Cost-Cutting Lifestyle Changes

 

If you want to put more money in your savings, there are surely some sources of spending you can cut from your life. For example, eating out is expensive because you’re paying for the service, the cook, the location, the food, and for the restaurant to make a profit. Cooking for yourself costs a fraction of the price and ends up being much healthier as well. You can reduce electricity bills by using energy-efficient bulbs in your lamps, installing a programmable thermostat, sealing every inch of your home off from outside and turning down your water heater to about 120 degrees F. Look at your budget and see where else you can make appropriate cuts.

 

5. Build up an Emergency Savings

 

Putting some money away can save you and your family from falling into debt when something unexpected occurs. Perhaps you or your partner are out of work for a while. Or, maybe you suddenly have to pay for a massive car repair. Having an emergency fund gives you something to dip into when you need extra funds quickly. According to Listen Money Matters, your emergency fund should cover about 3-6 months of your current essential expenses. Set a reasonable timeframe for building up this savings and work on growing it back if you ever have to use it.

 

Having a plan to keep your finances in order will give you peace of mind and let you indulge once in a while without feeling guilty. No one likes lying awake at night pondering their debts and worrying about bill payments. Get your financials in order now so you can feel prepared for anything.

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6 Key Things Not to do When Selling Your Home

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If you are like most people, you’ve read article after article about what you should do when selling your home. Equally important to what you should do when selling your home is what you must avoid. There are six key things you want to avoid when selling your home.

 

Don’t Display Your Day to Day Life

 

Your home may have worked perfectly for you the way it is set up and decorated. You may automatically assume that the same template you’ve developed for your home works for anyone who may be interested in purchasing your residence. In fact, that is not the case.

 

When a prospective buyer enters your residence, he or she needs to be able to imagine the home as if he or she is living in it. If there is too much clutter, too much evidence of your own day to day live, that will become difficult, if not impossible, for a prospective buyer to accomplish.

 

Therefore you cannot leave your residence in state that overwhelms a person on how you have gone about living in the property. Thus, you need to eliminate a good deal of what you have displayed on tables and so forth. You need to put away the personal items that make your house a home for you, but don’t have the same pull with a prospective buyer.

 

Don’t Raise Red Flags

 

When it comes to selling your home, you must not leave red flags waving. If there are even small defects that are obvious in your home, deal with them before you open the doors to prospective buyers.

 

For example, if there are evident defects in the carpeting in a room, even if they are just due to normal wear and tear, you need to address those before the house goes on the market. Small defects can amount to red flags among many prospective buyers. They will worry that if obvious small defects exist, are there bigger problems with a property that are not obvious.

 

Don’t Be Negative

 

You must never be negative about anything at your property when you are visiting with a prospective buyer. Of course, you do need to disclose whatever is required by law, good or bad. But, that doesn’t mean that you need to make generalized negative comments about the residence in front of a possible buyer.

 

This includes even making statements like you decided to move because the house was too small or any type of comment like that. These types of statements and unnecessary and are likely to prove to be unhelpful.

 

Don’t Carpet the Bathroom

 

The bathroom and kitchen are two rooms in your residence that a purchaser really does buy in a decorated and complete condition. Thus, it is very important that the bathroom make the best possible presentation possible. The bathroom must not be in such a condition that a prospective buyer will believe he or she needs to immediately go to work on changing it if the house is purchased.

 

One key step in this regard is not to have a carpeted bathroom. The vast majority of people do not want carpet in the bathroom. They oftentimes equate a carpeted bathroom with dampness and odors.

 

Don’t Have Pets Around

 

Undoubtedly, your pets are part of your family. Understanding this reality, you nonetheless cannot have your pets around when a prospective buyer is going to touring the property.

 

Indeed, you need to take this admonition a step further. You can’t have anything that indicates the presence of a pet around when a possible buyer is going to be visiting the home.

 

Some staging experts contend that you should send your dog, cat, or other pets somewhere else while the house is on the market. This is an extreme position and is not a realistic approach to addressing the issue of pets in your home when the property goes on the market.

 

 

If you are like many people, you may have a room in your house that is more for storage than anything else, a proverbial junk room. Don’t leave that as wasted space when the house goes on the market.

 

Find another location for the junk you’ve let pile up in the spare room. Turn that space into something else. For example, redecorate it into a simple home office or guest bedroom. You’ll want a potential buyer to see how each room in the residence does have a productive use.

 

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Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Scaffold Store, the favorite and trusted scaffold supplier of the largest contractors.