It’s perfectly normal to put things off when you’re not sure where to start. This is certainly true when you have bills and expenses and each one is calling out for your attention. It can start to feel like every little fire you put out flares up somewhere else and there’s no way to get a handle on all of them.
If this is the case, stop trying to fight all the fires all of the time, and begin to tackle them by setting realistic goals with a simple plan that you can easily stick to. We’ll show you the steps you can take to get back on track, build up your financial confidence, and improve your credit.
Step 1: Learn to control the things within your means
Money isn’t one thing. It’s many things happening at once. It’s your paycheque, your monthly expenses, and where you spend your money. And it’s the money you need for everyday necessities as well as life’s simple pleasures.
Instead of stressing over what you can’t change, focus on the things that you can do every day or month to start taking more control and building your confidence about money matters.
Some of the simple things that you can control can have a positive impact that can improve your credit, such as:
- Making payments on time.
- Limiting how much of your available credit you use.
- Not applying for too many credit cards.
Step 2: Set realistic and achievable goals
Set a goal that should be relatively easy to achieve in a short amount of time. Fix the things that need fixing first, like paying down debt, finding one small expense to cut out, or simply setting up an automatic transfer of money to a savings account.
Once you start achieving some financial success, you’ll see how easy it can be to reach a goal and you’ll likely become motivated to start working on new ones.
Step 3: Pay yourself first
When any of your goals include setting money aside for your short-term and long-term goals, it’s important that you don’t put them off. Learning to put yourself first can take time, especially when it seems like you need all of your income to pay debts and cover expenses.
However, having some money from every paycheque go directly into savings or an emergency fund can add up to a lot of money over time. If you’re unsure of how to create a budget to manage household expenses while paying yourself first, start with this easy-to-use budget planner.
Step 4: Consider consolidating your debt
Often, one loan that gets used to pay off all of your debts can result in a lower monthly payment and give you some breathing space to work on your goals. An easyfinancial representative can help you determine if this is the best approach for you. Also, check out How to manage debt with a Debt Consolidation Loan.
Step 5: Check your progress
Seeing results is a great way to stay focused and motivated. If one of your goals is to build a better credit rating, it’s a good idea to check your credit score often. If you've been making on-time payments and reducing your debt, your credit should get better over time.
To get a free copy of your credit report and score go to either TransUnion or Equifax. It may take several months or up to a year to see improvements, so check back often. Be sure to review it for the accuracy of information.
Every journey starts with the first step. By setting realistic goals, you can quickly start to rebuild credit and get your finances on the right track.
Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice on any subject matter.