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Improving Your Budgeting and Lowering Your Debt in 2010

Todays Date: December 15, 2018

With the 2010 New Year upon us, most people are thinking about their New Year’s resolutions. Because 2009 was such a difficult economic time, many people are now thinking about making changes to their budgets in order to lower their debt load in 2010. If you are planning on making 2010 a year of budgeting wisely to reduce your debt, below are a number of tips to help you achieve your New Year’s resolution.

1. Create a Manageable Budget: Creating a 2010 budget before the New Year will help you stick to your budget all year long. Your budget items should include such expenses as housing costs including mortgage payments and maintenance, food expenses, outstanding debts such as credit cards, social expenses, children expenses, transportation costs, and your savings. Create an easy to follow spreadsheet showing your take-home pay for the month. Divide your expenses into fixed expenses (expenses that do not change each month such as the mortgage payments) and fluctuating expenses (expenses that can change each month such as the utilities). This will show you how much you will be spending each month compared to the amount of money you are bringing in each month. It will help you control costs and enable you to live within your means. Once you implement your budget, it is essential to track your daily expenses in order to stay within your budget.

2. Reduce Expenses: To decrease your monthly spending, come up with creative ways to cut down on your expenses. This can include buying generic products instead of brand name products, shopping at consignment shops, surplus stores, and second hand clothing stores. When shopping, the key is to bargain hunt. You should always comparison shop online and in traditional stores, consider the quality of the product over the price as a quality item will often last much longer, buy only items that offer free shipping, and make use of coupons and discounts. Look for sample sales and add your name to a mailing list where you can purchase samples of products. As well, perform tasks that you may normally hire someone to do such as simple home renovations and repair.

3. Reduce Your Debt: When it comes to reducing your debt, you should first pay off the highest interest rate credit cards. Try to reduce the number of cards you have to 2 cards. Contact your credit card company to negotiate a lower interest rate. Contact a debt assistance company to see if they can consolidate your debts into one debt payment and one interest rate. As well, pay your bills on time to avoid expensive late fee penalties. You should also talk with your mortgage holder to see if you can renegotiate the terms of your mortgage so that you can get a better rate which will lower your monthly payments.

There are many ways to manage and reduce your debt. Because high debt can be very stressful, it is important that one implements a sound budget plan that can be easily controlled. By starting your financial planning early in 2010, you can put yourself on a path to financial stability.

Adriana Noton is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of financial topics including personal budgeting and debt consolidation. For more information about personal finance and debt counselling, ConsolidatedCredit.ca is a tremendous resource on the topic for Canadians.

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