Recovering from a personal setback will likely find yourself having to reconsider financial priorities in targeting where to focus effort and resources. Not all household debts will equally impact your family. First payment priorities should be all bills associated with your essential needs, including utilities, food, mortgage or rent, and insurance. While you can most likely find ways to save on all of these bills, by cutting back and negotiating lower rates, paying them is extremely important.
Also, having appropriate health insurance coverage is essential because a medical emergency could put a huge dent in your finances. Check out government offered health coverage or HMO companies that offer lower but practical medical coverages.
Here are some examples on how you can prioritize your financial obligations:
> First priority debts – would include your rent or mortgage, tax liabilities, insurance premiums, auto loans, and utilities.
> Second priority debts – may include other secured loans through financial institutions, such as a car loan.
> Third priority are lenders – this includes retailers, hospitals, doctors, credit card issuers and other unsecured creditors.
Remember, each person will have his or her own unique list of priorities. Realize that just because a category of debt is listed as a third priority, does not mean it isn’t important. It simply means you need to contact and make payments to the higher priority creditors first. For help determining your financial priorities.
Set your priorities – create your financial priorities worksheet, evaluate if these are “needs or wants”, then rank your payment priorities.
Priority – make a list of all your debts; rank and figure out when, and how will pay your debts.
On your spreadsheet, create the following tabs, and make notes on how will you resolve or attain your goals:
Paying off unsecured debt
Paying all secured debt on time
Saving for a down payment on a home
Buying a car
Taking a vacation-Having money for entertainment
Starting/maintaining a savings account
Setting SMART financial goals
Before you think about setting goals, review the five parts of SMART goals.
S A smart goal is specific. It pinpoints something you want to change to achieve.
M A smart goal is measurable. You can measure or count a SMART goal.
A A smart goal is achievable. Setting goals too high can lead to frustration.
R A smart goal is rewarding. Reaching the goal should be a reward for your hard work.
T A smart goal is trackable. Set milestones and schedules for your goals.
After you decide what your priorities are, review your budget and determine which bills you are unable to fully pay. Then, contact your creditors to discuss your situation. Explain that you want to pay your bills but due to your setback, are unable to. In some situations, you may be able to get a new payment plan.
I was thinking it would be a great time to take a look at comparing the amount you owe as well as how to create a healthy debt repayment arrangement. Obviously, this only works if you commit to spending less than what you earn. If you’re spending more than what you earn, this will cause pile up of debt – which eventually lead to a more serious financial problem.
To get you started, you need to write few items. Doing some tasks by hand adds personal touch and commitment and importance in what you want to do. You will also need to have all the latest statements of what you owe, from bills, credit card, and consumer loans. Analyze the interest rate on each.
You must make a chart with four columns consisting of each debt, amount you still owe, monthly payment, and the current interest rate on each debt. Make sure to get all the information from all the statements. The goal here is to have all your info in one spreadsheet.
Once you have the list and check which of the debts to be prioritized. Go through that list and number the debts based on their interest rate. Give the highest interest a big number 1 off to the left, the next highest a big 2, and so on. Don’t worry about which debt has the biggest balance – that doesn’t actually matter when figuring out which debt is the most important one to pay off.
Once you’re done with the order of debts in place, go to the debt marked with numbers. If it’s a credit card debt, call the credit card company and ask for a rate reduction, or transfer the balance to another card for a lower rate. You can also pay it off with a home equity line of credit or with a personal loan from your credit union. Consolidate your loans at a very low rate. The key is to lower that interest rate. Go through every one of your debts from highest to lowest interest rate and do your best to get each rate nice and low. Obviously, there are some rates you’re likely to be unable to easily change, like your mortgage rate, but see what you can do about most of the rest of them.
Over time, you should be eating away quickly at that top debt, and you’ll be able to eliminate it. Cross it off the list, then start hammering away at the new top dog on your list.
Whenever a debt adjusts in interest rate, cross it off the list, then add it back in just like a new debt where it belongs based on the new interest rate.
After you do this a few times, it’s useful to rewrite the list so that everything remains clear on it, but it’s fun to hold onto the old one (with some crossed-out debts) to remember where you came from.
If what you spend is equivalent or even more than the amount you earn, then you need to make a balance between earning and spending. However, it is unfortunate that spending less is not always an option. If you have assessed your ﬁnances, and it may be saying that you need to increase your ﬁnancial earnings, then, it may be the right time to consider looking for other source of income or ﬁnances. You have to know that it is not really as hard as it sounds. With some planning or being resourceful, earning more should not be too diﬃcult.
IDEAS TO INCREASE YOUR EARNINGS:
> ASK FOR A RAISE AT WORK: – Having ideas on how to earn more may not require an elaborate moneymaking scheme! It may only take for you to have a closer look on what you are already earning. At work, if you have been working with the Company for quite some time, then perhaps you can apply for a higher work position, which of course will convert into higher salary. Or, you can simply ask your Company they could consider a pay raise, you have to provide something that will consider them to give you that raise, how you performed at works a big consideration.
> CONSIDER HOME-BASED BUSINESS. – This can be done full-time or part-time. Home-based work is an excellent way to earn extra income. Having work at home and tending on your personal chores is a challenge, just make sure to devote a certain work schedule for the house and “work” at home. See also that you are able to manage your ﬁnances as “self-employed”.
> SELL SOME PERSONAL ASSETS. – Assets are physical acquisitions, such as home, car; monetary property – mutual funds or certiﬁcates of deposit; or intangible rights, i.e. money owed to you by someone. If you what you owe is greater than what you own (your assets), selling some of your assets can help tip the scale in your favor.
> SELL ONLINE. – You may want to consider start an online business or you just want to unload some items that can put additional source of funds, you might want to explore selling online. It is a great place to connect with interested buyers. Just make sure to be aware of legitimate buyers, from hoax ones.
> TAKE LEAD! – A quick search online will open your minds about countless ideas on how to earn money more! From creative extra income solutions that are good in a pinch to longer term solutions for earning additional income. The trick is to pick what you’re interested in and take action. A lot of people panics when they are spending way too high and are not earning much. It is okay, but you can’t allow the feeling of helplessness to overpower you, or you will be ﬁnancially paralyzed. Out there, are countless possibilities to earn extra!
When dealt with financial troubles, we could use all help we could get. These days, we now have more control of our money than ever before. But that convenience could mean disorganization, reckless spending, borrowing and debt.
Having poor money management techniques to your personal accounts is one thing, but doing the same to your small business funds could be disastrous. We may not be able to help you to become sensible because that’s on you. But, here are selected tools which can make a difference on how you think and act with your capital.
QUICKEN Premier – One of the most popular name in personal accounting. Quicken’s desktop tool is well-aged, feature-packed (though a bit outdated). It neatly links transactions between your accounts – so transferring from savings into a current account is one entry, with a ‘from’ and a ‘to’ rather than a pair –provides various budgeting and prediction tools to keep on track.
Personal Capital – Primary function is to track your investments, assets and savings, rather than specifically looking after your current accounts. Personal Capital offers specific advice and statistics based on your goals and current standing, but access to human financial advisors is where the company makes money. Anyone is welcome to use its website, but only accept you as a customer if you have at least $25,000 in liquid assets, and there’s an annual fee (a percentage between 0.89% and 0.49%) to pay for your assets’ management.
Buxfer - An online service that does a good job of presenting your finances in a clean, professional manner. No need to provide your exact banking details if you are not comfortable. You have the option to go offline on your bank account, but if you are comfortable, there is a security encryption to protect your data and company is regularly edited.
You Need A Budget – YNAB’s primary mission, is to help you curb overspending and avoid living from paycheck to paycheck. Stick to the program, temper your spending appropriately, and eventually YNAB will see you spending last month’s money rather than that which you’ve just earned. If you get off track, YNAB will tell what’s need to do to get back to where you need to be.
Mvelopes - One time-honored technique is the envelope budgeting system: split funds, as they arrive, into various envelopes marked for specific purposes, never dipping into an envelope to spend cash on anything other than its designated use. Mvelopes is a way to put a representation of your sectioned-off income. Designate an envelope for working capital or savings and you can grow your personal wealth or business funds surprisingly quickly. Anything you don’t spend in an envelope stays there, giving you more to play with in your next pay cycle.