Mélanie Larouche | Journalist
Halloween can be a spooky--but fun--time of year. But if you're constantly struggling to make ends meet, the end of the month may always send shivers down your spine!
How should you face these fears? Exactly what you do when you're afraid of the dark--shine a light on the situation.
Let your goals light the way
Saving is key to achieving major life goals like buying a home, traveling and planning for retirement. But if you have a long list of goals, a limited budget and lots of unexpected expenses, there isn't much room for error. And constantly juggling your finances can be a nightmare.
Put an end to this balancing act with these frighteningly straightforward steps:
- Establish a realistic budget detailing every expense you expect to incur every year, and leave room for unexpected expenses like a car repair or an appliance or computer purchase.
- Unexpected expenses should be their own budget item because they are unavoidable.
- Then figure out how much you need to save to reach your goals. Based on how much you are able to set aside, come up with a savings schedule to keep you on track.
- Your savings schedule will motivate you because you'll see your savings grow and you'll know exactly when you'll meet your goals.
- Use a separate bank account for things like everyday expenses, goals and savings.
- Making your scheduled deposits into each account will also give you a better idea of how close you are to meeting your financial goals.
Resist the temptation to overspend
The spectre of debt looms over us every day. It will do everything in its power to lure us off the path to our financial goals.
It will try to get us to spend our money on restaurants, activities, outings and shopping sprees. It will whisper in our ear that we should dip into our savings. And that's often when we lose our way.
Resist this temptation by closely tracking your spending. Stick to your budget and stay focused on your goals. It's the only way to triumph.
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