Many Americans are awaiting the third round of stimulus checks, which is expected to be $1,400 based upon a relief plan designed by President Joe Biden. This direct payments, part of the American Rescue plan, budgeted to be in the ballpark of $1.9 trillion, will make a big difference for millions of people.
While this is obviously good news, it will only provide you with temporary relief when you get your check or automatic deposit in your bank account — that is why it’s imperative that you restructure your finances this year. A good place to start would be to pay off your debts; then, once you’ve freed yourself of the pressure of paying multiple invoices every month, focus on ways to increase your income and control your spending.
Make Only a Single Monthly Payment
Imagine if you only had to write one check every month to make steady progress in paying down your debt. What’s more, imagine if you only paid what you could afford, an amount that you calculated after you went over your monthly income and expenses.
Although this may seem like a fanciful hope, possibly the exact opposite of what you’re currently experiencing — multiple credit card invoices showing up throughout the month and chronic anxiety over not having enough money available in your checking account to pay all the balances in full — it’s entirely possible to restructure your debts in an easier way.
If you like the idea of only making one affordable payment every month, all you have to do is apply for a consolidated loan, which is something that you can do online with lenders like Gulf Street Advisors. You will find that the application process is fairly straightforward and that you can pay all your credit card balances in one go, which will leave you with an easy repayment plan, one that works with your current budget.
Increase Your Income
Although working harder at your job may position you for a promotion, it’s often not enough to move the needle because other people in your department or your company will also do the same. While you might be able to outperform people who are disengaged at work, people simply going through the motions, you’ll still face some stiff competition for the better-paying positions available.
Your chances of improving your income will significantly increase if you can differentiate yourself through educational accomplishments. How you do this will depend on where you are working and what you do for a living. You may be fortunate enough to work for a company that offers in-house training and be eligible to sign up for classes in manager training. It’s also possible that your company will pay for you to earn a degree or a certificate offered by an educational institution.
Reduce Your Spending
Here are two powerful ways to reduce your spending:
- Create a budget. The best way to reduce your spending is to create a household budget at the beginning of the month to figure out where all your money should go. Predicting how to spend your money before the beginning of a new month rather than reflecting on how you spent it at the end of the month will make a huge difference in helping you control your spending.
- Reduce impulse purchases. When you make impulse purchases to feel better, you are depriving yourself of the money you’ll need for something important later on in the month. If possible, find a low-cost or free option when you want to lift your mood. For instance, instead of buying a book, go to the library; or instead of going out for dinner, look up an online recipe on how to whip up a gourmet meal at home.
While it’s wonderful that the government is planning to do all it can to improve the economy, you also have to do what you can to lift your own personal economy by decreasing your debt burden, increasing your income, and decreasing your spending.