You’re not alone if you’re an Illinois resident dealing with debt. You might feel like you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck and that there’s no relief in sight, but you can improve your situation. These are some good ways to stretch your money.
Keep track of your finances
Keeping track of your finances is the first step toward finding some relief. If you are having credit issues, you’ll want to know how much money you’re taking in and how much you’re spending. Creating a spreadsheet detailing this information can help you better understand your finances.
Create a budget
Once you know how much you’re earning and spending, create a budget you can live with and stick to it. You can do this the old-fashioned way by writing it down or using an app on your phone. Budgeting helps you see where you’re doing OK and where you might need to cut back on your spending.
Pay your bills on time and in full
Being smart with your finances is crucial when you already owe. Pay all your bills on time and in full to avoid taking on further debt. This also means being responsible when using your credit cards; only spend within your means and avoid exceeding the 30% total credit utilization ratio.
Shop for deals
If you already have regular monthly expenses like cable, cell phone and car insurance, you might be able to find better deals. For example, cutting the cord can help you save hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year when you switch to streaming services. You may also find it worthwhile to downgrade your cell phone plan; many carriers let you pay as you go, which is much cheaper.
Tracking expenses is the first step to getting your money under control. Once you understand your spending, you can make better financial choices.