I then signed up with a budgeting service (I tried three, one charged, but the free ones were better. I began to see where my money was going. No one needs to pay for a budget service, plenty are FREEEEEE. I also make 2 lists of bills and their amounts and the total compared with the total of my paycheck and I post it where I pay bills. Now, I know what's being paid each check and how much I have left. This must be checked almost a week before each paycheck so that I know I am on track. Wells Fargo Banking offers a budget system already plus billpay (fee), plus credit knowledge too..
I began to set up each utility, car, mortgage bill, even HOA (fixed expenses) for recurring payments on the dates that I get paid (which is sometime before the due date -this could be 2 weeks). I distributed them according to the reliable paycheck amount. What! Suddenly my bills were . . early and on-time!
My typical expenses that fluxtuate (a.k.a. variable expenses) are:
I take this money (start with an estimate of what you spend on each) out of every paycheck. This way there was never a time when there wasn't enough money for any of those items because I knew what I had to spend. Yes, this means that I have to pay for gas with cash. So what. My money is under control.
When I wasn't sure of 'what' was coming out 'when', I had to do the free credit thing. Now, because I am in control of my budget, I currently pay for a service. This service is one of those recurring charges that comes through whenever. To take control of that , I put this charge on my credit card (if you cannot get credit, save up for a secured card) - then through my bank, I set up the payment to go to my credit card. Again, this is how I take back control of my money and when payments come out.
I first had to decide in my mind and heart that these qualities are important to me and God and not only affect me, but my family, my score, and my image to employers.
COUPONS HAVE A PRINTING LIMIT. BUT NEW ONES SHOULD COME AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH.
I cut costs in these areas:
HOW MANY TIMES I GO OUT TO EAT
DITCHED TH E SATELLITE AND GOT CABLE
DRASTICALLY REDUCED CABLE MOVIES AND BOUGHT $1 MOVIES AT THE BLOCKBUSTER KIOSK
CUT COUPONS FAITHFULLY FROM THE PAPER AND PRINT FROM WEB
REDUCED SHOPPING FOR 'ME' ITEMS
In this envelope are medical bills or bills that I may not be able to pay right away. (I mark the due date on the outside of the bill.) But when I get money and am tempted to spend it on a frivolous item, I can see if my envelope is empty. If not, I know that I cannot spend money because I have a bill to pay. I also have a calendar where I mark upcoming expenses, important sales, etc.
The week that I get paid, I:
CHECK MY BILL LIST TO MAKE SURE I AM ON TRACK.
VISIT MY GROCERY STORES ONLINE TO CHECK THEIR SALES AND COUPONS FOR PRINTING. (USUALLY YOU CAN MAKE A LIST OF THEIR SPECIALS AND PRINT YOUR SHOPPING LIST)
I VISIT COUPON SITES AND PRINT THE COUPONS THAT I WILL USE. (COUPON WITH SALE ITEMS IS A GREAT WAY TO SAVE). I GET THE SUNDAY PAPER TOO. If you found a $5.00 bill in your newspaper, would you be happy? Remember, coupons are free money.
Being responsible with revolving credit is very important. Your balance should be only about 20-30% of your credit limit. Ontime payments and reliable history will increase your credit score.
Savings is another way of showing your responsibilities to lenders. It shows that you are not a "spend-a-holic." It is also like a credit card because you can maintain a balance without spending it.