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Should You Focus on Cutting Expenses or Growing Your Income?

Making the right choice

Handling difficult situations requires taking appropriate measures. When one has issues with the money, there are only two possible scenarios: cutting back on expenses or growing your income.

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Should You Focus on Cutting Expenses or Growing Your Income?

Should You Focus on Cutting Expenses or Growing Your Income?

https://twocents.lifehacker.com/should-you-focus-on-cutting-expenses-or-growing-your-in-1841134920

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Key Ideas

Making the right choice

Handling difficult situations requires taking appropriate measures. When one has issues with the money, there are only two possible scenarios: cutting back on expenses or growing your income.

Managing personal finance

When faced with a challenging situation, as in not having enough money, try to ask yourself which one of the following two you cherish more: time or money. 

Depending on the answer, you will be able to make the appropriate decision: whether to take on a side hustle or cut back on your expenses.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Education and wealth

College degrees can add significant wealth. The more education you have, the more you’ll earn and the less likely you are to be unemployed. And if you can keep debt low while getting th...

Controlling expenses and wealth
Those who control their spending do much better. This doesn’t mean you have to save on EVERYTHING, just some things. Enjoy your life by spending on what you want here and there, just keep it in line so you have excess to save and invest. Even 10% will make you wealthy over time.

You’ve probably heard that time is your greatest investing asset. It’s true. The more investments earn and grow on their own, the greater they become.

Investment value is also greatly impacte...

You’ve probably heard that time is your greatest investing asset. It’s true. The more investments earn and grow on their own, the greater they become.

Investment value is also greatly impacted by the amount invested.

The Golden Rules of Personal Finance
  • Spend less money than you earn
  • Always plan for the future: you should always look forward beyond the current month
  • Make your mon...
Budgeting = creating a plan to spend your money

Budgeting is simply balancing your expenses with your income.

It's a plan for the coordination of resources and expenditures. When you budget your money, there’s a desir...

How to create a budget
  1. Gather Some Financial Information: gather a detailed list of your income and expenses.
  2. Select a Budgeting Method: figure out how you’ll budget your money to meet your most pressing financial goals.
  3. Create Your Budget: tally up all your expenses and income to see where you stand and allocate expenses.
  4. Execute Your Plan: you can use a notebook, pen and paper, a spreadsheet or an online software.
  5. Reward Yourself: you can work a small percentage into your budget to treat yourself each month.
The 70:20:10 budgeting method

This method suggests that you allocate 70 percent of your income to expenses, 20 percent to savings, and the remaining 10 percent to debt.

70:20:10 may work for someone with a healthy emergency fund and minimal debt.

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The cash flow formula
The cash flow formula

The word "budget" is often synonymous with restricted and rigid, making you want to avoid it. Instead, use the term "cash flow."

The formula for cash fl...

Decide how strict you need to be with y our money

Your budgeting style will change over your lifetime. You may use the envelope method when you need to be stricter with yourself.

Some people feel less stressed when they use budgeting styles that track every penny. Others find it is enough to run cash flow and know there's some money left each month for nonessentials. They don't need to itemize where every dollar is spent. See what style of budgeting support your goals and sanity, then adjust as needed.

Know when to stop trimming

Much personal finance advice focuses on making cuts. The information is useful when you're trying to avoid mindless spending. However, there is a time to shift your focus from slashing to earning.

Polish your resume, and apply for open roles that could be earning more. If you're not looking for a career move, a side hustle can help increase your income.

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Side Hustle to Make More Money

You don't have to sacrifice all of your free time to start a side hustle, use the time you’re comfortable with and make a little bit of progress every day. 

Take Action

Get to working on improving your finances today, not tomorrow. Reading the steps and thinking you’re capable of doing it but postponing it is just an excuse, an unprofitable one.

Communicate With Your Partner

Talking about your financial goals, and scheduling time once a month to go over your finances together can prevent money from affecting your relationship.

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What a Budget Does

As a personal financial planning tool, a written, monthly budget allows you to plan for how you'll spend and/or save your money each month and also keep track of your spending patterns.

Make a Budget in 6 Simple Steps
  1. Gather every financial statement you can (bank statements, investment accounts, recent utility bills).
  2. Record all of your sources of income.
  3. Create a list of monthly expenses.
  4. Break expenses into 2 categories: fixed and variable.
  5. Total your monthly income and monthly expenses.
  6. Make adjustments to expenses: If you have accurately identified and listed all of your expenses, the ultimate goal would be to have your income and expense columns to be equal.
The 50/20/30 budgeting method
The 50/20/30 budgeting method

With the 50/20/30 budgeting method:

  • 50% of your monthly spending goes toward essentials - your home, your food, etc.
  • 20% of your monthly spending ...
Debt payments

Debt payments may look confusing when you add it to the savings column. But the easiest way to build up a savings balance is not to have your money go toward debt. Once your debt is paid off, you can increase the savings.

Reducing your essentials

Play around with your monthly budget to see where you can reduce your monthly spending:

  • You could contact your internet company to get a discount.
  • You can clip coupons and use rebate apps to spend less on your monthly groceries.
  • You could set aside less for medical expenses if you have an emergency fund.
Measure your expenses

Take a hard look at how much you are spending day to day. Every time you spend money, write it down as it happens in a little notebook or log it into an app.

Alternat...

Aiming to save pounds, not pennies

Get a cheaper living situation: Live in a smaller house that needs less stuff to fill it or get a roommate.

The personal finance rule of thumb is to spend no more than one-third of your income on rent. 

You Can Cook

If you can read, you can cook. If you can read and cook, you can use meal planning and prep to save time, money, and improve your health.

Base your menu for the week on two things: what you already have in the house and what is on sale at your supermarket.

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Preparing financially for the future
Preparing financially for the future

With the perspective of an economic crisis in 2020, some of us already have to rethink our spending habits to make ends meet. Others may feel more financially secure. But when recessions come, they...

How to treat your income

Whatever income you are earning right now should be treated like it’s temporary.

Treat your current income as if it might need to stretch for as long as possible. It doesn't mean you need to cut back on everything, but you might need to consider cutting some of your expenses so that you can put more money into savings.

Saving versus spending

Saving money now is worth more than spending money later. This advice applies to any budget item that you could spend less on now.

Even if it is a really great deal, remind yourself that cash in hand now is worth more than an unnecessary purchase.

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Financial Literacy
Financial Literacy

While kids and teens get to learn about a lot of stuff, most families and schools do not teach them how to manage their money. In some families, it is considered a taboo subject and many friends a...

In And Out

Most of us know how much we make, but we need to pay close attention to how much money is actually coming in post-tax, and how much is going out.

You can start by writing down your Starbucks, Uber, Amazon, and take-out expenses, along with your car insurance, utility bills, subscriptions and memberships. Slowly we can realize that many of these small expenses add up to huge figures.

Review And Analyse

By noting down all your expenses on pen and paper, or on the PC excel sheet, you can start to review and analyse your spendings on a weekly or monthly basis. This will make you find innovative ways to save money, catching hold of ‘runaway spending’ that went unnoticed before.

Example: You could find that the $5 Smoothie that you had every day, could cost much less if you made it at home.

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