If your expenses are greater than your income then you have to contend with a budget deficit and there are only two ways you can deal with this. You can earn more money and/or you can spend less – it is as simple as that. Unfortunately, it is easier said than done, or we wouldn’t have gotten into this situation in the first place, right? And that’s how many people get into debt in the first place; by racking up the debt with credit card debt and other high interest loans.
Your budget will help you to focus on areas where you can cut your spending. Obviously you will be looking at luxury items first and those non-essential items that will be easy to eliminate. If you can eliminate your budget deficit by getting rid of these non-essential items then you are in luck however, if you don’t have luxury items to begin with it isn’t so easy. This is how all of those “get rid of all your debt in a year” articles on the home page of Yahoo suck us in, but I wrote a post about why those articles don’t work for most of us. Here is an excerpt from that post “The flaw in every one of those articles is that you *have to be* overspending by upwards of $30,000 a year for any of them to work….. You and me? We are lucky to even have enough money to cover the bills let alone have $10 left over to save.” Can I get an amen?
If that is the case then you will have to go back over your budget again and see the areas where you can cut your spending to try to close the gap between income and expenses. This can be hard, and this is the reason that I started this blog over five years ago. I could not cut back on my mortgage, car payment, insurance, or school fees. The only place I found room to cut was in my grocery bill, and thus I began using coupons. Coupons for everything. If you have a $1.00 off coupon, that is $1.00 in your pocket! Couponing literally saved me from financial ruin. (This coupon page will provide you all the resources to use coupons, if you are not already using them.
“After a visit to the beach, it’s hard to believe that we live in a material world.”
– Pam Shaw
If you are putting a percentage of your income aside a regular basis for some type of saving scheme then you might need to consider canceling that saving until you have managed to reduce your debt to such an extent that you are able to cover your costs with your income.
Once all areas of cost-cutting have been exhausted you are left with the only other alternative of increasing your income and you will need to look at whether you’re able to increase your hours of work or possibly even get a second job to bring in enough additional income to cover your expenses. This is one of the hardest things to do, especially as a single parent. First of all, you have to have the time to take additional hours, or get a second job. Second, the cost of this is high because you are not able to parent your kids if you are working all the time.
I have made over $50o using Swagbucks. I know that it sounds gimmicky, but I assure you that it is not. (I have not, and will not, ever suggested any gimmicky way to save or make extra money.) When I first started using Swagbucks I signed up and then let it sit for about a year and then one day I decided I had nothing to lose by checking it out. So, I did and the rest is history. Now you can learn from me and the tips that I give you about how to earn the most Swagbucks.
This page I put together has a list of my favorite money saving tips. Tried and true ones. Ones that I use on a day in and day out basis.
One way or another, unless your budget deficit is eliminated you will continue accumulating debt and the more of that you do, the more difficult it will be to bridge the budget deficit gap. Don’t wait. Work with me NOW to create your budget, and gain control of your finances!
If you’re looking for my budget template, you will gain immediate access when you sign up for email updates.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial professional and don’t play one on tv. The information provided on Single Mom on a Budget.com is my own opinion and should not be construed as fact or advice, and you follow it at your own risk. You are responsible for your own personal finances and should not rely on this site to make the final decision for you. This blog is my means of communicating my experiences to you and to prompt you to think and consider your own situation, but you are 100% responsible for any actions you take. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.