Smart Personal Financing and Budgeting Tips

budget-013Lets face it, budgeting your personal finances can be an overwhelming task that can easily become too much for a single individual to handle. When your income and spending habits remain steady, you may not have a problem doing so. However, once you begin to accrue other debt such as credit cards, personal loans, car notes, etc, your finances can easily spiral out of control.

One of the largest personal finance challenges individuals face is credit card debt. If you’ve ever owned a credit card, then you’re probably aware of just how easy it is for that balance to spiral out of control. As long as you’re making the minimum payments, most credit card companies will continue to increase your spending limit. As your maximum spending limit increases, so does the total amount you’re spending on interest and other fees.

The first step in eliminating your credit card debt is to identify which card is the biggest problem and focus on paying it off first. Common sense should tell you that the card with the highest interest rate is the one eating up most of your payments. Instead of your payments going towards the balance of your credit card debt, it’s simply being used to pay the interest rate. Go through the monthly statements of any and all of your credit cards to determine which one contains the highest interest rate and focus on paying it off first.

Paying off your credit cards isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight. After all, you didn’t accumulate all of that debt in just a day’s time, so you can’t expect it go away that quickly either. With that said, you’ll soon see substantial progress if you focus on paying off one card at a time. The balance will continue to go down until you’re at that happy zero mark. Just try not to get yourself into the same boat of credit card debt you were originally in once you’ve eliminated your balance on those deadly pieces of plastic.

In addition to keeping your spending down, you may also want to think about taking up a second job. As long as you have 10+ hours of free time a week, there’s no reason why you can’t use it to increase your revenue. I know this may be difficult for parents and individuals with other responsibilities, but most people shouldn’t have a problem picking up a second job. Perhaps you could cut out that those weeknight bar trips with your buddies. Not only will this free up some of your time, but it will directly save you money as well.

Contrary to what many people believe, the job market has actually picked up this year. With the recent growth of small businesses in our country, thousands of new jobs are created each year. You should take advantage of this growth by looking for a part-time job either online or in the newspaper. Think about what type of skills you can offer a company and find someone looking for your expertise. Everyone has something they’re good at and chances are there’s a company who needs those skills.

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