Write down the steps you intend to take to get your cash flow under control. At the very least, draw up a budget and decide what you will be spending your money on before you spend it. This is the reverse of the cash flow exercise you did.
If you live in a two income household, this step cannot be done alone. Before you start, discuss your money situation with your partner and work towards an agreed outcome. Once you have agreement, focus on reducing your discretionary spending to free up the cash required to reduce outstanding credit card debts.
When you have cleared your credit cards, start on a savings plan so that you’ll have the cash to pay for those discretionary items when you want to buy them.
Changing your eating habits might also help you save money, especially if you have been eating out a lot. Going home instead of going to those after work happy hours will also contribute some extra dollars to your bottom line.
Getting control of your cash flow requires self-discipline, and a preparedness to start over if you slip up. And, be realistic; allocate yourself or each partner an allowance to spend without having to account for it.
The other side of the money equation is income. Can you get a better paying job? Can you earn more in your current job by being more productive?
Is there a way you could earn some extra income on the side? If you have skills to share, consider offering a course on a site like Skillshare.com. The opportunities are out there.
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Peter Mulraney has forty years experience working in schools, banking, and government. He is the author of the Inspector West crime series, the Living Alone series of self-help books for men, Sharing the Journey: Reflections of a Reluctant Mystic, The New Girlfriend and Everyday Project Management.