Taking control of your finances can improve your financial well-being, and your overall mental and physical health. It reduces your stress by putting you in the driver’s seat. The good news is that there are concrete steps you can take to improve your financial well-being
A budget is the foundation. It’s a simple but highly effective way to make sure you live within your means, and it allows you to have control over your finances.
Having a written budget that lays out your income and expenses can help you commit to a spending plan, set a debt repayment plan, include a savings plan, determine your needs versus wants, and set priorities for making purchases.
Don’t know where to start? The Financial Consumer Agency’s (FCAC) online budget calculator is a free online tool that can help you manage your finances – where your money is coming from and where it’s going. It can also help you identify your priorities, needs versus wants, where to cut expenses, and where you can save money.
Once you’ve drafted a budget, you can begin to make a plan to pay down debt, and avoid taking on more. FCAC’s online resources include other tools to help you manage your finances, such a step-by-step process for paying down debt, a financial goal and credit card payment calculator, information on debt management options, and other valuable resources.
Taking control of your finances means taking the time to review your budget on a regular basis. It can put you in better control of your finances and reduce your stress. You can also save more money by reviewing the financial products and services you currently have, to make sure you’re actually using them. If you review your budget and your goals on a regular basis, you will be taking a major step toward financial well-being, and achieving your dreams and plans.
Here are six steps to follow to take control of your finances with a budget.
- Get organized. Record all of your expenses so you know where your money goes and where you can cut spending.
- Identify your short-term and long-term goals, and build saving for them into your budget
- Divide your expenses between things you need and things you want
- Make “being debt-free” one of your goals. List all of your debts with interest rates and track your progress in paying them off.
- Pay more than the minimum payment on bills whenever you can
- Stick to your plan!
If you need help with debt management, contact us today for support. We can help you get your debt under control.