5 Easy Ways to Get your Finances Under Control

By Lauren
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    Lauren Greutman Recovering Spender

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    Wouldn't it be great to know where every penny of your money is going all the time? We all want to have control over our finances. We all want to eliminate debt, to save more, to make a little extra cash… To be in more control. This type of control is a good thing because it involves your Financial Situation, Financial Health, and Future.

    If this is a challenge you are ready for, it can still be intimidating or stressful to know where to start. But the key is to start.

    5 easy ways to give you more control over your financial Situation.

    Some of them could literally take you 5 minutes to do.

    1) Get your Free Credit Report

    While your credit score isn't everything, getting your credit report is still a good idea. There is much more useful information on your report besides the credit score number. You could have open lines of credit you were completely unaware of. Some of those forgotten cards could also be in collections if they have balances or annual fees you were unaware of. All of that information will show up on your credit report.

    Head over to Credit Sesame for your FREE Credit Report. Once you are armed with this knowledge, you can decide what cards you should cancel, pay off, and keep. They also give you a free credit report card so you can see where you're doing really well, and what areas of your credit could use a little more attention. And even if you don't have a credit card, there is a good chance you still have a credit score and report.

    2) Declutter your House and your Finances.

    In The Recovering Spender, I give special in-depth attention to these, because it is so important to get the clutter out of your life. If you sell items from around your home you don't need or don't use on eBay, you can put that money toward extra debt payments or emergency savings! Here's a list of 25 things you didn't know you could sell on eBay just to get you started. It's like free money! I'd be willing to bet you have many of these items filling your junk drawer… or right in your back yard.

    If you haven't had a chance to pick up your copy of The Recovering Spender, it's available wherever books are sold. In it I give my full story of how I got in tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and the plan I used to become completely debt free! I also lay out a step-by-step plan anyone can use to get out of debt and get to a place of financial freedom. Grab your copy today.

    3) Get a preliminary Budget

    I know, I know. Budgeting sucks. The number of us that actually get a thrill from budgeting is very small.

    I have a confession to make… I don't enjoy budgeting myself all that much. When it gets to Budget Night, I'm usually pretty drained and just want to dive-bomb on my couch and not move. Budgeting by itself isn't really that exciting. But what does get me excited and keeps me motivated to budget month after month is the effect budgeting has on my life. When I see what budgeting does to empower my husband and I to achieve our short and long-term goals, that excites me! We never have to be shocked or surprised by bank balances or credit card statements ever again. That is the part of budgeting I like!

    I believe in budgeting so much that I made a FREE downloadable budget sheet just for you! Maybe this is what you need to give you your jump-start or re-start. Download this ‘Get Started Budgeting' sheet, and give it a shot. Be motivated by what your budget can do for your life. Think about what it can help you accomplish! Kinda like how washing the dishes after dinner sets you up for life the next day. Hardly anyone enjoys doing the dishes, but seeing the mess the next day is worse than not getting them done the night before. Budgeting is so worth it! If you aren't convinced yet, download the sheet and try it for 3 months. I can guarantee you'll see a difference!

    4) Make some Extra Cash on the Side

    I'm not talking about getting a second job. Here are a couple great survey websites. You can get paid just for sharing your opinions about products you buy! You can do this when you're sitting on the couch in the evenings. Sign up for Opinion Outpost or the National Consumer Panel.

    With Opinion Outpost, they use the information you give them about yourself to find you surveys that relate to you. Each survey you fill out earns you points that you can redeem for things like cash and gift cards, and gives you an entry in their $10,000 quarterly prize drawing. Surveys can get emailed directly to you, or just log in to their website and take a survey or two there. Pretty easy.

    The National Consumer Panel is a little different. They use information on stuff you buy. Use your phone to scan items you bought. As an active participant, you'll earn points! You'll also earn entries into their sweepstakes for extra points, gift cards, cash, and a $20,000 quarterly Grand Prize! On top of that, there are other discounts and offers they make available to their panelists. You will need to check if they are accepting panelists for your area.

    5) Track your Spending

    Track my spending? Like every single thing I spend my money on? Yup.

    Isn't that a pain? Not anymore, because, Tiller.

    Tiller is my new favorite finance app! Tiller takes the transactions from all of your bank and credit card accounts and feeds them into a secure Google Sheet. You can easily categorize your spending any way you like. Tracking your spending has never been easier. Now, my husband is really into numbers and spreadsheets. He is hard to impress with things like this, but he was blown away. It is so easy to use and super-convenient! Give Tiller a try and get control of your spending, the easy way.

    BONUS – This online course will Whip you Into Financial Shape!

    I packed everything I know about getting into financial shape into my online course called “The Financial Renovation”. From reviewing your past spending, to setting goals, to setting and sticking to a budget, making extra money in ways you never dreamed of – I put EVERYTHING into this 7-week course.

    You'll get access to my online community, tons of downloadable files, and some awesome budgeting tools. If you're serious about getting into financial shape once and for all, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

    Taking control of your finances is so important! If you trip up, just pick up where you left off. Don't expect perfection. Just try your best. Any effort you make to take control of your finances will have a positive influence on them!

    I once heard someone say, “If you make a plan and follow it 70% of the time, that's way better than not following ANY plan 100% of the time.”

    Truth.

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