Are you having a hard time keeping all of your finances in check? If you’re a recent graduate, you may be faced with multiple student loans on top of all of your other bills. Gone are the days where you get a paper bank statement mailed to you that you balance to your checkbook. Since everything is online these days, it’s easy to instantly check the balance of your checking account to see if you have enough to purchase that fancy TV. While this may seem great at the time, not planning your finances accordingly may leave you living paycheck to paycheck and never really getting ahead.
With the help of the internet and programs such as Microsoft Excel, it can be really easy to set up a report that gives you a running total of your current debt against your current income. You can set this up according to how you currently get paid. Then, you can project those numbers to keep going to a future date. This will allow you to see at a glance when you will go into the red if nothing else changes: if you don’t either cut down on expenses or increase income.
If creating your own spreadsheet seems daunting, financial expert Igor Cornelsen suggests some websites that will do this work for you. Some offer free or paid services depending on how in depth you want it to be, but they will help in showing you your net worth. These sites are also useful as they allow you to set budgets for different expenses, such as groceries, and you will get email notifications if you go over budget for the month.
Knowing this information allows you to figure out how you want to approach spending. You could cut back on expenses by eliminating the things you don’t really need such as impulse items. Also look at those little frequent costs that may not seem so bad at the time, but add up over the months. Those morning runs to Dunkin Donuts will add up if you make it a daily expense. Don’t want to cut that out of your budget? Try looking on the internet for ways to make extra cash that you can use for spending money.
Keeping a tab on your finances will allow you to plan ahead. If you’re able to either cut costs or increase income, you can put more money towards a bill to pay it off. Once paid off, take that money and put it toward another bill. Create a snowball effect and before you know you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.