Once you’ve obtained freedom from debt, your next trick will be to remain there. Whether you’ve worked hard to pay off a debt or you’ve worked hard to prevent becoming indebted, it can be hard to stay there. Life can change quite quickly; you decide to go to school, buy a house, get married or have a baby, you have extra expenses and you can’t spend what you used to; habits, feelings and ideals can take time to catch up. This adaptation period is rarely available in times of change, but there are initiatives you can implement to ensure this rite of passage does not allow you to lapse into debt.
Most importantly, you need to know how much money you earn in a month and how much money you need to spend on life in a month; this includes things like rent or mortgage, insurance, food, and so forth. From there you can develop a budget, which should include a saving plan as well as some sort of emergency fund for unplanned expenses, like your cat needing to go to the vet. This way, you will know just how much money you have every month to spend frivolously. You can then divide the money between different categories like entertainment, and clothing and set a limit of how much money you will spend on these things each month.
Another aid you can use to help keep you on track is, writing down every penny you spend in each of your budget categories. Keep a running total so you know when you are approaching your limit. This will only be beneficial if you do not allow yourself to spend over your allotted budget. You can also keep a running total of how much money you have spent in your frivolous categories overall, you may be shocked by how much money you throw at people to make yourself happy every month.
Not spending money you haven’t earned yet is the easiest concept for staying out of debt, yet the hardest to put into practice. Credit cards should not be used to buy things you can’t afford. That’s how you get yourself into sticky situations. Credit cards can be very handy when they are used for internet purchases or for when you are making a large purchase and don’t want to walk around with briefcase full of cash handcuffed to yourself. Just remember, this only works when you have the money to pay the bill in full each and every month.
Plan your major purchases. If you need to, save up for a while to buy the things you want. If you are the impulsive type, keeping your credit card frozen in a block of ice will ensure you give yourself time to think things over. It’s true what the annoying people say, it really will build character. You learn a lot about yourself when you are lacking key pieces of furniture
Learn to accept the fact that you won’t have everything you’ve ever wanted right off the start gate. Your parents took twenty years to work for all of the things you had while you lived with them, you can’t expect to move out and live as well as they do.