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7 Tips For Getting On Solid Financial Ground

Updated on February 9, 2011

Do you worry about money? Is your debt or spending out of control? Is there more month left at the end of your money? Do you live paycheck to paycheck? Do you borrow from one credit card to pay another? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, then the chances are good that you are not on solid financial ground. These days, more and more people are on shaky ground when it comes to their money. Here are seven tips to help you get on solid financial ground.

  1. Know where you are at financially. It is easy to get overwhelmed with life and money (or lack of it) and even easier to just ignore your entire financial life. This is exactly the wrong thing to do though. If you ever want to not worry about money, then you have to know all the details of your money situation. Write it down - all of it. Write down how much income you bring in each month; write down all of your bills, and all of your debts. Not just the monthly payment, but the total amount of all your debts. Are you current or behind on bills? You need to know so that you can fix it.
  2. Make a plan to improve your situation. Every person's plan will be different. Maybe you need to catch up on medical bills that are past due. Maybe you are current on everything, but barely squeaking by each month. Maybe you need to stop extra spending. You might even need to get a new job. Sometimes you can do everything right and still not be able to make ends meet. Sometimes you just need to raise your income. Take a hard look at what you wrote down regarding your financial life and figure out what you need to do to improve it.
  3. Get rid of your debt. Debt will hold you back in every area of your life. They say money can't buy happiness, but a lack of it can certainly cause misery. The more money you owe other people the less money you have for yourself. The less money you have for essentials and wants. When you make your plan, figure out a way to pay off any and all debt.
  4. Don't take on any new debt. Like I said above, when you owe people money it limits you and can quickly make you miserable. Take a stand and refuse to take on any new debt (OK, a reasonable mortgage in my book is almost always unavoidable, but that is it!).
  5. Start a savings account and set up automatic savings each month or each time you get paid. Life happens and in my life it means unexpected things and frequently emergencies. If we didn't have a savings account these things would most often be paid for with a credit card. This is not a good way to live. Even if you can only put in $10 at a time, it will add up quicker than you think. Plus it is just the habit of saving money each month that you want to get into. You have to have a cushion to cover unexpected expenses if you want to stay out of debt.
  6. Start living within your means. This means that you cannot, under any circumstances spend more money than you make each month. Spending more than you bring in leads to disaster and lots of debt. If there is no way for you to pay back your debt and save a little each month on your current take home pay then you need to bring in more money. This could mean taking on a second job, asking for a raise, or getting a new job entirely.
  7. Make some goals. This goes along with the plan. If you only have the end result in your plan, you likely won't get there. You need to set reasonable, attainable goals along the way. You need guidance in getting back on solid ground. Life might happen and cause things to not go as smoothly as it looks like it should on paper, but with a plan and goals in place then you can get back on track quickly. There are steps you must take to make your plan happen. It is up to you to figure out what those steps are, but it might look something like this.
  • By April 1st be current on all bills.
  • By May 1st set up an automatic savings plan.
  • By June 1st start repaying debt using the debt snowball method.
  • By December 1st, credit card #1 is paid off.
  • By the end of the first year on your new financial plan you will have $1,000 in the bank and $8,000 less in debt.
  • And so on.

Not being sure how you are going to pay the bills, take your child to the doctor, or put food on the table is not a fun place to be in. Shaky financial ground is risky and dangerous. If you live paycheck to paycheck then you are probably just one unexpected expense or emergency away from losing everything. It will be tough to get back on track, but it is a must. You have to figure out how to get on solid ground financially or you could lose everything. Use these tips to help you get started. Your life will be much less stressful when you can stop worrying about money all the time.


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    • Peter Owen profile image

      Peter Owen 7 years ago from West Hempstead, NY

      Boomers still don't get the simple fact of youCan pay now, or pay later, but you will pay in the end. We just keep piling up the debt and then wonder why most Boomers will have a very hard time retiring.

    • medor profile image

      medor 7 years ago from Michigan, USA

      I like how you explain Goals... for me they are the incentive to manage money wisely... i love to be able to buy something i have saved for after several months... and watching retirement dollars grow monthly is also a great "carrot" that keeps me away from weekly sales and impulse buying.... Great Job Once Again... you rock..

    • strawberryhill profile image

      strawberryhill 7 years ago

      Excellent advice - a great hub.

    • MarlonC profile image

      MarlonC 7 years ago

      In my experience the only solution is to get more money coming in. Yes, debt creates misery but so does scrimping and saving, especially when you get a parking ticket that wipes out weeks of careful budgeting at a stroke.

      Greetings from the UK - where, by the way, it would now take a household on an median income 40 years to save for the deposit required for a mortgage!

    • surale profile image

      surale 7 years ago from pakistan

      i like your work . your work is very good.

    • Bijosh profile image

      Bijosh 7 years ago from from the cosmic sea, sustaining life and radiating purity.

      What a wonderful tips on economic planning. It helped me a lot because most of what your said are applicable to my life. Thanks.

      Great hub.

    • Wavecritter profile image

      Wavecritter 7 years ago from Cocoa Beach

      Great direction with a stepping stone process! Being debt free is the most liberating feeling, thank you for the 7 tips to get on solid financial ground =)

    • TinaTango profile image

      TinaTango 7 years ago

      Very helpful information! Yes I do agree it is very easy to just ignore dept..but it cannot be ignored forever!

    • sincerely25 profile image

      sincerely25 7 years ago from United States

      This is a very helpful hub. I going to start doing this right now. Good insight. Have a wonderful day!

    • websclubs profile image

      websclubs 7 years ago

      Credit cards: take it just one day at a time. many peoples financial situation is totally out of control. Its hard for old and young people to chance or replace their thinking and bad habits. Once applied it can help turn most troubled financial lives around. turn bad debt into good debt. How to get back on solid ground financially without losing everything. Set reasonable, attainable short-term goals. Stay out of debt financial plan. "Debt vs. Money circumstances" Life happens the unexpected medical bills emergencies. How is your financial life. when possible pay a little extra on each bill Not exactly the monthly payment, but the total amount plus a few dollars more.

      (a few phone calls could save you more money)

      you may want to talk to your loan company, about adjusting your payments.

      Find out what they can do for you, under your present circumstances. You will want to do this, in order to find your best fit, at a price you can afford.

      Remember that all any human can do is their very best. "so don’t give up keep on moving forward"

      Nice hub Thanks.

      Keep your long term objective in fount of you daily…

    • profile image

      KJS411 7 years ago

      Terrific hub Jennifer. Solid advice and if followed can get one back on solid ground. I've learned through experience to put those credit cards away and live within your means. It's especially important now with two small children and costs for higher education going through the roof. I think it's important not to beat yourself up looking too far into the future and following your advice one day at a time. Well written.

    • azure_sky profile image

      azure_sky 7 years ago from Somewhere on the Beach, if I am lucky :)

      Excellent hub again, Jennifer! I got my financial situation under control back when my daughters were still living at home, but I worry about them and their "blow and go" attitude....which I think most of their friends have as well! Seriously, two new cars for each household?? What if the economy "tanks" even further?? What if one them loses their job? Mommy and Daddy going to bail them out?

      I can only hope that young people get a chance to read this!! I am sending this link to my daughters and their husbands, their friends, their friend's friends...LOL

      EXCELLENT JOB!!!!!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Sound, financial advice! Love these practical tips. Rated up!

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      The seven tips for getting on solid financial ground are timely and very practical. I'm confident this could turn many troubled financial lives around. Well done! :) Katie

    • HealthyHanna profile image

      HealthyHanna 7 years ago from Utah

      Always a good subject. The economy is not security and we should be ready to manage on less. Debt is a terrible master.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Congratulatin for such a splendid hub.

    • rorymullen profile image

      rorymullen 7 years ago from Maine

      Very helpful. I think if anyone uses these tips properly you can be debt free. Nice one