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Strategies for Balancing your Budget

May 20th, 2013 at 11:04 am

Lara May 1 McGhee bankWith the economic downturn that has taken place in the United States over the past few years, some people are still struggling to get back on their feet.  A recent article listed a few easy tips that could make balancing your budget and getting a handle on debt a much simpler task.

  1. Spend extra money on credit card and loan balances. USAA member Nikki Tracht and her family had been dealing with extreme levels of debt.  One of the things she learned was to start using any extra money on bills and loan balances. With her new system, Tracht makes minimum payments on all bills…except the one with the lowest balance.  Her extra money goes toward that one, so one bill is getting paid off completely at a time.
  2. Selling or returning what you’re not using. Many other members of USAA say that they usually sell their extra unneeded items online, because every dollar you get back counts.  The money earned can go towards your credit card bill and any other unpaid loans.
  3. Freeze your credit-literally.  One member of USAA, Jessica Otieno, found a solution to spending money on things she didn’t need by actually sticking her credit card in water and then keeping it in the freezer.  According to Otieno, “I figure if it’s something I really need, it will be there in a few hours when I need it.  And for now it’s locked out of my mind, so it’s not such an easy temptation.”
  4. Lower your rates.  One strategy that can really add up to a lot of savings is to reduce your interest rates and change your W-4 withholding.  It can sometimes just take a simple phone call to lower the interest rate on your credit card.  You can lower your interest while paying off the debt, getting rid of it even more quickly.  Tracht decided to adjust her W-4s so that she could get more money back each month instead of waiting for an income-tax refund.  She uses this money to pay off her debts more quickly.
  5. Look at your bank statements for any monthly auto-debited financial commitments.  When doing this, it’s helpful to see what you can cancel until you have a handle on your debt.  There are many things you can do without for a short while, such as gym memberships or cable, until your finances are under control.
  6. Don’t spend unless you have it.  USAA member Treva Tribit described how her family often has found ways to cut back.  Both her and her husband took on extra jobs and made use of coupons as much as they could.  They also decided to downsize their home and move somewhere that fit their family without being more than they could afford.  By cutting back and being careful what you’re spending, a lot of debt can be reduced.

Many people in the state of Texas are battling credit card and loan debts.  If you or a loved one are potentially facing bankruptcy, be sure to contact an experienced Texas bankruptcy attorney to assist you.

Call today for a FREE Consultation


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