If you find it a struggle to pay off debt, you may be overlooking a very simple, but very effective tip in good money management: get organized.
Getting your household organized will declutter your mind, your home and your life, defining a clear line between your household income and help you pay debt down faster.
“Some of the greatest stress comes from feeling overwhelmed, which is a common experience when you are dealing with debt. When you commit to getting organized, you take control of your situation,” says Jeff Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“Getting organized lets you be more efficient and better able to identify areas for improvement. You may even find extra cash that you didn’t know that you had.”
One of the best ways you can keep on track with your finances is to be proactive. Identify a system that works for you.
Start by making a spreadsheet (or whatever method works best for you) with your various bills and note the following: due dates, amounts and dates paid, and make a regular day and/or time for your bill payment.
You can even simplify this process by incorporating things like automatic bill payments or by putting reminders in your calendar. As part of your process, make sure that you track and gather your receipts (even if you are using electronic methods) so that you can reconcile your expenses.
You’re going to avoid paying late fees and interest charges which mean more money will actually go towards your debt. You’re taking steps to preserve your credit history as well.
Organize your kitchen
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, because it is where the family gathers most often, but it’s also the heart of your budget. Your food costs are likely the largest expense you’ve got after rent or a mortgage payment.
Clean out your pantry, making items visible. Put oldest stock in the front, so it gets used first. Clean out the fridge. Clean out junk drawers. In your freezer, make sure that items are well wrapped and dated with when you put them in there.
Getting your kitchen organized is going to help you save money in a number of ways. You’ll waste less food, because you’ll know what needs to be consumed and when. You’ll be better able to plan your meals, which will help you take advantage of sales, coupons and other money-saving strategies.
Clean out the closets
Have you ever gone in your closet to find clothing hanging with price tags still on? Make a regular practice of cleaning out your closets, according to the season.
You’ll avoid spending extra money on items that you didn’t even realize that you already had. Furthermore, you may find all kinds of treasures that might be able to earn you a little extra cash by selling them.
Are you looking for creative ways to stick to your budget? Do you wish that you could pay down more of your debt with what you’ve got? We can help. Contact one of our trained credit counsellors at 1-888-294-3130 or check out our free online debt analysis.