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Bringing My Funds Collectively: The place Do I Even Begin?

Once you've decided to take control of your finances, you may be wondering how to get started and what to do first. If this sounds like you are in your life, then first of all, congratulations! Deciding to take control of your finances is one of the smartest financial decisions you can make. Taking control of your finances is the first step in achieving the financial life you have always wanted.

Make up your mind to start

Deciding to start is probably the most important step. So if you're already there, you're one step ahead of many others out there. An important next step can be to share your journey with others. You don't have to tell the whole world all the details about your financial situation, but it is beneficial not to just keep this in mind. Remember that goals that are not written down are just wishes. So write down your decision and share it with a trusted friend or family member.

After you've made a decision to get a grip on your finances, you'll want to know exactly where you are. One way to do this is to take a look at your credit report to see what information lenders are seeing about you. You can get your free credit score for free using Mint and you are also entitled to Get a free credit report once every twelve months from the three main loan issuers. Review your credit report carefully and make sure you challenge any errors or inaccuracies in your report.

Make a plan (and a budget)

Once you've written down your decision to get your finances in order, it's time to come up with a plan. Reviewing your credit report can give you an idea of ​​the existing debts and expenses that you have. Write down all of your monthly expenses and monthly income.

Keeping track of all of your income and expenses is the first step towards this draw up a budget. Depending on your past with money, you may have a negative association with the word budget, but it's important to remember that a budget is just a tool. A budget can help you stop spending money on things that are not important to you so that you still have money on the things that are important to you.

Cut down on your expenses

Again, make sure your budget is written down and tracked. Trying to keep it all in your head is just preparing for failure. A tool like Mint can help keep track of your budget as it is directly linked to your bank and credit card accounts. This way you can see, categorize and see how you are doing on your budget in one place.

Once you've budgeted for a couple of months you will begin to see some trends as to where you end up spending your money. Decide which elements of your spending align with your core values ​​and mercilessly cut off the things that are not. Use extra money every month to make set up an emergency fund and get out of debt.

Increase Your Income

Another thing to keep in mind is that cutting your expenses is only half of your budget. While many budgeting guides talk about eliminating the daily coffee purchase or idle gym membership, that's only one side of the story. There is only so much that you can cut off your budget while at least in theory you have unlimited income potential. Start a sideline or sell unused household items to increase your income and take control of your finances.

It's a marathon – not a sprint

In conclusion, remember that financial health is a marathon, not a sprint. Depending on where you're starting from, the chances are you won't get it all the way Eliminate your debt in a month or even a year. It will take time, so it's important to remember it at the beginning too. And not all months will be the same – there will be days, weeks, and months when you make mistakes and not make the optimal financial decisions. This is another reason it can be useful to write down and track your progress. It gives you some history and context to know that when you have a bad financial day, you have had many good days too. Give yourself some grace and remember that tomorrow is a different day.

The bottom line

The decision to get your finances together is one of the best financial decisions you can make. Having a solid financial foundation can help you calm down and lead a stable life. Decide to start, write it down, and share it with trusted friends and family. Gather your monthly income and expenses and create a budget.

If you share your decision, your path, and your progress, you remain accountable even when the inevitable slip-ups happen. When you make a mistake and make a bad financial decision, the most important thing you can do is acknowledge that it happened and make up your mind to do better tomorrow. One day at a time you will find yourself on the path to financial freedom.

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Dan Miller (80 posts)

Dan Miller is a freelance writer and founder of PointsWithACrew.com, a website that helps families travel for free / cheap. His home base is in Cincinnati, but he tries to travel the world as much as possible with his wife and 6 children.

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