Yes, I get reimbursed, but sometimes that takes a couple of pay periods.
As things happen in your life, you should do the same. It may be getting a new job, having a new baby, or having a relative move in or out.
I have earmarked these debits into my monthly cash flow analysis spreadsheet. I can pencil them in on my checkbook register on a consistent basis.
Thankfully, numerous online tools exist designed to assist people who need help organizing and gaining control of their finances. These tools are easily accessible to anyone with a computer and access to the Internet. Many tools and services are available, but most cost you money, which might be hard to justify if you do not have much money to spend.
We would like to introduce you to our CareOne Customer Blog Team for 2013! This is the second in a three-part blog series to help you get to know our Customer Bloggers a little better.
Knowing where you want or need to go is a lot easier with a roadmap/GPS/Google map print out, or whatever you use; these tools make it a lot easier to get there. It is the same with getting out of debt.
We try to bring in new bloggers each year to ensure we represent a variety of perspectives when it comes to our debt solutions. While we do compensate our CareOne bloggers, the opinions and experiences they share are purely their own.
However, I must admit, creating a budget and being able to stick to the letter (in this case, the number) of the law within it, is extremely difficult.
While wanting to help others is a great idea, how can you even consider it if you are in a stage where you are barely making ends meet to help yourself or your family?
Surprises I used to cover with what I called a "slush fund," but for five years that fund has been just a fond memory.
I don't want you to think just because we graduated from our Debt Management Plan that everything is hunky dory now. Life still has its struggles for us.
Just for fun (and maybe even for a future blog), I kept track of what we were able to find in the way of free food this year.
Then I started to really think about what I could do based on what we had and I came up with some options and some neat ideas. I am looking over the gifts I have for friends and family and I am pretty proud of what I have done this year. It gave me another "aha" moment - after being a "veteran" in the DMP program and think that I can't come up with another creative thought to overcome a challenge, I still have a lot left in me!
We also made a decision to no longer charge for Christmas. If we didn't have the money, then we didn't get it. We shop more practically now and look for bargains wherever we can find them. We plan our spending for Christmas, and start shopping as early as possible.
For you it may be something different. Each person in a debt management plan, like Care One's, should determine what they think being successful means to them. Does it mean just being able to get out of bed in the morning, or is it having food in the fridge for your family?
The whole budgeting thing doesn't end once you complete your DMP, it's something that you have to stick with for the rest of your life. The holidays are just around the corner, and I'd like to give you a couple ideas that have worked for me over the years and might help you save a little.
It can be difficult, embarrassing, and emotionally painful to let others know we are struggling with debt. The important thing to remember is that it is during the hardest times that we all need support. Not only the support to keep us from despair, but also the support that will give us motivation to stay on track.
Being an introspective, analytical type of gal, I tend to gather a lot of momentum and motivation from looking at how I've reached important goals in the past. I suppose that is "self help" in its purest form. I also use past failures as red flags, because I've made plenty of disastrous financial errors, and now have a healthy fear of repeating those.
I know how scary it is to share your personal financial struggles with your family or even friends. You worry that they will judge you or that it will change their opinion of you; but reaching out to friends and family can really ease some of the pressure you are feeling.
I am not going to lie; I try very hard to put aside money into a savings account and no matter how hard I try, something comes up and I end up needing that money for some sort of urgent expense.
Wherever you may be in the journey, some (including myself) can be left with a bit of fear in regards to credit. I had a few fears, and perhaps they have run across your mind at one time or another.
You need just the right crowd to enjoy classic movies so you should be very selective about the guest list. For instance, folks under the age of 50 might not be as apt to enjoy or even remember some of the great oldie hits from the 50s and 60s.
When you really get serious about saving money, you will come up with all kinds of ideas
Now that I had a clear plan for getting out of debt, I needed to get organized. No more random piles of bills and unopened mail. I needed to become the master of my money, knowing exactly where it was going and when it had to go!
We may be saving, but admit that it is not as much as we probably should. I have always believed that if I had more money, I would save more money, but in reality, if I continued to save at the current rate and did not touch the savings, I would be doing great.
In addition to the blogs, be sure to check out the new CareOne Groups:
Are you finally out on your own and figuring out how to balance your finances? If so, this is the group for you. In Starting Out, you can talk about the challenges you are dealing with in a group of like-minded people.
Do you feel like you are finally understanding what being a "grown-up" is all about and are settling into your adult life? If so, this is the group for you. In Settling In you can connect with others who are just like you.
Struggling to balance all that an established lifestyle has to offer? The balancing it all group is for you. Discuss the challenges you face when your responsibilities at work, at home and with family and friends all compete for your attention.
Are you currently retired or planning on retiring very soon? If so, this is the group for you. Times have changed and so has retirement. Learn how others are redefining retirement.