We see it on the news everyday, rising mortgage rates causing higher payments and foreclosures, credit card interest rates and debt rising, and Americans saving accounts becoming a thing of the past. More and more American families are feeling the pinch of rising costs and are becoming closer to the edge of bankruptcy. But don’t give up, there is always hope. While I don’t have a magic answer to fix all the problems here are a few suggestions to help stop the bleeding.
First, make sure you are making as much money as possible. If overtime is available then by all means work it. Make sure you are being paid what you deserve. Many people where I work don’t take the time to fill out mileage reimbursement forms leaving thousands of dollars a year unclaimed. If needed, look into getting a second job that fits into your schedule. If you are a morning person delivering a few papers on your way to work could make sense. Or perhaps you could deliver pizzas a few nights a week. Generally fast food restaurants offer vary flexible hours that almost everyone can work. You could also start a small home business with the skills you already have or sell items on eBay.
Second, keep track of where your money goes. You might surprised about the money you spend on laundry services, in a vending machine, or for cable or phone services you don’t really need. Write down all your expenditures for a few weeks and then look it over for places that you could cut back. Learn to cook inexpensive meals and to spend time with those you love for less money. Taking a family to the movies is very expensive and you can’t even talk to each other. Trying playing games at home or going fishing.
Third, cut back on your lifestyle. Many people work 80 hours a week to drive a new car or to pay for a vacation home. But is it really worth it? What is the time away from your family really worth? Most of my fondest childhood memories are centered on people and events, not on presents and possessions. If you have luxury items that you can’t afford or don’t have time to use perhaps they should be sold.
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