Let's tackle this subject right now and just get it out of the way. Money is a tough one to talk about and I think debt issues even more so. I'm sure we can all agree that living within our means and eliminating debt is something we should all aspire to. It is often easier said than done, however.
I firmly believe it is less about the amount of money you earn and more about what you do with it. In my experience I find that the people who complain the most about the amount they earn also have the greatest money woes, while those in control of their money are content with their current wages. No matter how much money a person earns, if one is not in control of their money there will never be enough.
Here are four key principles I have regarding how I handle my money:
Pay my bills on time or early - avoid late fees and penalties.
Have a savings plan - standards savings account, emergency fund, retirement.
Work diligently to eliminate debt - mortgage, loans, credit cards, etc.
Track every penny - earned and spent.
Sometimes we have to sit down and ask ourselves some serious questions:
Do I know how much I spend every month?
Do I know how much debt I truly have?
Do I have a plan for my retirement years?
Do I know what my net worth is?
We have to look at what we do and where we are with regard to our current financial situation. We can't just guess or assume and it really isn't wise to try and just wing it. We really need to know, no matter how unpleasant that may be. But once we know then we can do something.
Here are some links to posts I've written on the subject of budgeting and debt elimination:
Have any ideas you want to share? What has worked for you and what hasn't?