Credit card debt – UGGGHHHH!
The holiday season is over and the credit card debt is here. Even if your neighbor still hasn’t taken down their lights, you and your wallet have probably lost that Christmas spirit. Unfortunately for many, December is consumed with visions of sugar plums as opposed to visions of future financial trouble. As a result we tend to overspend and hope that things will work themselves out in the New Year.
As February draws to a close, our mailbox is filled with reminders that so far 2016 is just like 2015 except that credit card balances have gone up. Since we are still at the beginning of a brand new year, let’s resolve to fix this situation.
What Can I Do?
In order to take control, you must have a clear picture of your finances. Determining your income is relatively easy. However, when it comes to expenses, not so much. You must look at your expenses in two ways.
First, determine what your total debt is. This will include mortgages, car notes, and credit card debt. It may also include things like medical bills, pay day loans, parking and traffic tickets. Don’t forget about student loans, taxes or even child support.
Next, consider what you are spending each month on your bills. Start by adding up your fixed costs like rent, car payments, insurance, and other loans. But be mindful of your spending on things like food (including that morning cup of coffee), utilities, and transportation. If you have kids, remember to add school/activity fees, child care, and of course clothing. Later we will discuss other expenses that need attention.
So just by taking these few steps you should have a better picture of your finances. In the coming weeks, we will help you to use these numbers to decide on the next step and whether you can achieve financial success on your own or whether you may need professional help. Until next week!
For a free budgeting guide or if you have any questions. Contact Zalutsky & Pinski, Ltd. at 312-767-0111 via email at News@zaplawfirm.com or on the web at ZAPBillsNow.com.