Want to repair bad credit? Start saving money? Find out how to live frugally without making sacrifices? This eBook will give you the strategies to make it all happen. Fabulously Frugal will help you solve your money problems and get you started on building up your savings!
Learn strategies for saving money for emergencies, how to spend less on home repairs or at the doctor’s office, be a savvy shopper who knows how to find the best deals, and afford everyday costs like transportation, school expenses and utilities. Additionally, money-saving experts share secrets in this book on how to get the best deals!
Money-saving strategies included in this book:
• How to travel on a budget
• Enjoy your passions without breaking the bank
• Celebrate holidays or special occasions for less
Fabulously Frugal will help you tackle your financial issues and share how to enjoy more in life for less!
Part One: Manage Your Money
Take Stock of Your Financial Situation and
Get Out of Money Trouble!
You want to live a frugal life and build wealth. But before you can do anything with your money or change your financial situation, the first thing you should do instead is take stock of where you stand financially. Are you secure as far as insurance goes? Do you have bad credit? What’s your worth? By answering these questions and sorting through your finances, you’ll have a better handle on your money and resolve any unfinished business. This process will also allow you to be prepared for financial crises such as your final arrangements and legal situations.
Taking stock of your financial situation is not as daunting as it may sound. You may feel that this task is too time-consuming or overwhelming, but if you manage this process correctly and allow yourself extra time to do it, the emotional relief will lift a burden from your shoulders. You won’t have to worry about your financial situation anymore because now you’ll have a better idea of where you stand. Take the time to work on the suggested areas of your financial situation included below in order to feel a greater sense of financial security. If you still feel it is too big of a job for you to handle on your own, ask a spouse or financial adviser to help out.
Steps to Taking Stock of Your Financial Situation
There are certain areas you will need to cover as you take stock of your financial situation. These areas will help you determine your net worth and figure out what sort of financial problems you’ll need to deal with now. As you work through these areas, write everything down, so it will be easier to figure out your situation at the end.
These are the seven items you’ll need to evaluate to determine your current financial situation.
Your Credit Score
What is your credit score? This score number, also referred to as your FICO score, will determine your creditworthiness. This score helps you to secure loans, buy property or obtain insurance. More on determining your credit score in Chapter 2.
Your assets are anything you own. These things have value in the case of bankruptcy or financial liquidation.
What do you own? Take some time to think about this and write it all down. Do you own your car or is it worth more than the remaining loan? Do you own or have equity in your house? Do you have a checking account as well as a savings account? You will need to include some other things in determining your assets. For example, if you have a CD or investment accounts like a mutual fund, this counts towards your assets. Be sure to make a list and include their current market value.
Your liabilities are amounts you owe. Some examples of liabilities include a mortgage, car loan, credit card debt and repayment on lines of credit. If you have other bills to pay, such as medical or student loans, include these and their amounts as well.
How much money do you spend in an average year? You may need to go through old bank statements or credit card receipts to get this amount. Figuring out your annual expenditures will help you understand where your money is going and how to manage it better. You should start keeping track of all your expenses now. You’ll find out one way to do this in Chapter 3.
Do you have insurance? If not, take care of that now. Medical expenses can be astronomically high nowadays—they even charge patients to ride in an ambulance. Having health insurance can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars in medical bills. Look into what kind of insurance plan you qualify for. Talk with your doctor or ask friends what insurance plans are out there and how you can find one that is right for you. By ensuring you have insurance, you can feel confident that you won’t run into financial problems should a medical situation come up. Also, don’t forget other forms of insurance you need to stay financially secure, such as car, renter, housing, business.
Your Legal Documents
Have you drawn up a will? Have you selected a beneficiary? Who will have power of attorney in the event you become bedridden or can’t communicate? These are all items you should include when taking stock of your financial situation. You should make sure everything is legal, current and notarized. Additionally, keep all your legal documents, such as birth certificates and marriage licenses, safely in one place. Having all of this together will help you avoid delays as well as costly legal problems later.
Your Net Worth
Your net worth is basically how much you are worth financially. In order to assess your net worth, compare the total of your liabilities to the total of your assets. If the amount of your assets is higher, then you have a positive net worth. If the liabilities are higher, you have a negative net worth. Don’t be alarmed if your net worth is negative. This is the case for a lot of people. Be happy that you know you have a negative net worth, because now you know it needs to be taken care of.
Get out of Money Trouble!
Now that you have taken the time to evaluate your financial situation, you have a better idea of what needs to be taken care of and where to go with your money. You’ll also be prepared for financial emergencies and start living frugally in order to have more control over your finances.
You may have realized there are certain financial messes that need to be cleaned up—and fast. You may need to pay off debt or clean up your credit report. No matter how dire the situation may seem, you now know what needs to be resolved and taken care of to enjoy a better money situation. If you have money trouble, now is the time to take action and fix it.
Are you ready to get out of money trouble? The first three chapters in this book can walk you through the process of fixing your credit and paying off debt. By taking steps to resolve those issues, you’ll move towards a positive net worth and be on your way to living frugally.