Nobody likes paying bills. Regardless of our disdain, they cannot be avoided. With imminent monthly expenses, it can get overwhelming and difficult to pay them all on time without fuss. In this economy, it seems like everyone is barely staying above water, or is already drowning financially.
From across all economic classes, bills are creeping up and mocking monthly household income. When it comes to your reoccurring charges, the sooner you get a hold of your finances, the better you will fare. Luckily, with a few pointers, you’ll be able to stay on track and on top.
Create a Monthly Budget
Being able to see where your money is expected to go every month is a great way to start controlling how you spend. This can be accomplished by making your monthly budget.
Write down every bill and expense that you’re expected to pay within the month and write down how much each bill is. Don’t forget your subscriptions and the predicted prices of food and gas. Also, do yourself a favor and over-estimate so you can compensate for surprises. It will help you later to section these bills out either by type (housing, vehicles, entertainment) or by the due date. If you get paid weekly or bi-weekly, you can see which paychecks can handle which bills.
Next, write down your monthly income. You can include your gross income and incorporate your taxes in your expenses to see where your taxes go every month, or you can make it simple with just your net income. Make sure you incorporate all the possible avenues for income, like wages, retirement, child support, or other types of unearned income.
Once you can see all the incomes and outcomes of your money, you can begin to calculate where you stand every month. If your expenses outweigh your income, it might be time to consider one of the options below.
Some of your expenses are not important enough to sacrifice your financial stability. In most cases, you may not even realize you’re paying monthly for a service, and yet the box subscription industry had an income of around $22.7 billion in the year 2021. Check your subscriptions and get rid of the ones you don’t use enough, or at all. Among the countless streaming services, there are many free ones, and services that let you include ads for a smaller price.
Many services offer to bundle similar bills together for a discounted price. This helps minimize various monthly due dates and expenses and presents you with an opportunity to save a little money.
You might be pleasantly surprised that some of your bills can be decreased just from a conversation with the company billing you. Sometimes you can take advantage of promotions and discounts. Other times, you might be paying more than you should on your insurance or car note. You can also ask about grace periods that help you plan a little better and give you a little more time to come up with the extra cash.
Paying bills doesn’t have to be stressful. Once you see where everything is going and know how to minimize spending, you’ll be a natural at taming your expenses.
A proactive CPA can help you actually save money. Contact us today for tax and accounting services.