My recent “debt free” post was by far one of the most popular posts in my blog’s short life, so it leads me to believe that many of you would also like to become debt free. I’ve decided to write a series of posts over the next few weeks about things that I have learned and practiced over the years in hopes that it will help you in your journey toward financial freedom.
First and foremost, you have to create a budget. You just do. I know it’s the dirty “B word” that most people hate, but it’s necessary if you’re going to win with money. You work too hard to let your money slip through your fingers each month with no real idea of where it’s going, so make a plan and stick with it! I highly recommend using the Every Dollar website/app. The standard version is free, and there’s also a premium version that has even more features to help you track your spending. Another good option is Mint. There’s always the good old fashioned pen and paper option, too! Do what works for you, and don’t make it complicated.
When creating a budget for the first time, please don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t quite work the first month. Or the second or third month. Give yourself some time to work out the kinks, but whatever you do, just don’t give up! Start by listing your income, and then list your expenses by priority. Leave room in your budget to ensure you’re able to at least pay the minimum payments on your debts. A later post will go into greater detail about my recommendations on how to get out of debt, but for now, just focus on completing a budget and getting a feel of where your money is going.
Check out this article to help you get started!