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Limited Access: Taming your budget easier said than done with lower income

Getting rid of debt is something everyone would love to do, and those troubled by financial issues always have the best of intentions but often don't have the means to pull themselves back up to a standing they'd consider to be adequate.

You absolutely want to get out of debt but your budget and income is limited, leaving you with very precious room to maneuver and save anything money wise you'd consider substantial.

So if you don't have much in the way of leftover funds to start saving, what exactly are you supposed to do as far as budgeting correctly and efficiently?
Devising a plan might be your broadest and easiest route to take initially.

That means writing out your expenses and figuring out what type of payment plan you can work with so that two things are in the forefront: making payments on time and paying enough that you're actually making a dent in that debt. The former is paramount, even if you're only making the minimum payments. In order to keep your credit standing intact and actually try to grow that number, you have to pay on time, even if that means having those payments deducted automatically.

That automated deduction method works well particularly if you have that money deducted directly from your work check. That also should lead you to look into means to consolidating your debt through your credit union.

When you write out your entire budget line by line, payment by payment, you have to find the credit cards with the highest interest rate and devote as much above that minimum payment as you can to start tackling your debt with the kind of persistent and vigor you need.

Obviously cutting costs is going to play a major role in taking your limited income and actually climbing out of debt. Costs worth giving a second look to include things like cable, phone, clothing and restaurant dining. The average cable bill tips the scale at $200 for the internet, phone and a plethora of channels. You may have to go extreme and take your internet to the local coffee shop, watch your NFL games at your friend's house and keep a home phone active for a few dollars and cut back on the minutes and data you're using on that far too expensive cell phone plan.

If everything you try still isn't getting it done, why not employ the help of a professional debt service? Make sure you look at a few important things first before you start working with this type of company or a financial planner. Make sure the cost is reasonable or even suggest an initial meeting that allows you to ask questions for little to no fee.

A combination of all these steps will go a long way toward not only eliminating debt but keeping in mind that even though you're income isn't up to par, you still don't have to settle for not being able to save money.


Who Figured? Having more money doesn't signal debt free existence

There's an old adage as it pertains to business, more specifically growing it, that goes something like this: “You have to spend money to make money.”

That phrase simply means you have to spend money on advertising, marketing and get word out, which isn't going to be an inexpensive endeavor. Therefore, you might have to increase that marketing budget more than just a bit in order to actually start making some real money and thus turning a profit that is deemed respectable by those who are in charge.

When it comes to personal finances, the “spend money to make money” needs a bit of an edit. Those who consider themselves “well off” financially, let's say a six figure household income, often have no trouble spending money, and that often starts the ball rolling in the wrong direction.

You see having more money tends to lead to spending more money and not really having as much at the end of each two week pay period that you might believe. This tends to get you into financial hot water and more consumed by debt that those who have a more modest income.

What often never comes into play is if your higher income suddenly goes away due to a layoff and you're left with a lifestyle that you no longer can pay for since you haven't been saving much of anything.

More important is what you do with your substantial salary the moment you receive the news that it is yours. Far too often that group of proverbial high rollers tend to raise the stakes to the point that they overspend initially and have little wiggle room to actually save money.

Take the two easiest and most notable purchases you can have: house and car.
Let's say you have a $150,000 salary, but you opt to purchase a home that tips the scales at close to $500,000 and a car that easily trumps a standard $15,000-20,000 vehicle purchase. Call it house or car poor if you will, but you'll be wishing you had thought through borrowing the absolute maximum amount you're approved for when it comes to the home specifically.

Smart money managing tells you to split the difference between your salary and what you're pre approved for, whether you're talking about the home or even the car. Often with the vehicle, you're not pre approved but rather given the opportunity to shop for what you want and have a decent idea if that $60,000 car is in your budget. Chances are you can get a similar, comparable car for about half that if you can put aside your salary that drives your want and need to have the very best, when in actuality above average more than suffice for the practical reasons of saving money and securing your financial future.

Ignoring your income isn't what is being offered as advice but rather taking what you're making with a grain of salt and choosing to spread it around evenly and cautiously, rather than without much reasoning behind it.


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