I need to do it, you need to do it. Most of us realized long ago that saving money is easier said than done. In this strong economy, it seems like saving would be easier, yet between daily temptations and a myriad of unexpected expenses it just never seems to happen. In fact, saving for the future is a combination of economics and psychology. A recent study by Bankrate.com confirmed that 32% of people age 30 to 49 have more credit card debt than savings. Other age groups are only slightly better off. So, if you’re one of those people with more credit card debt than savings, what can you do?
Make a Plan – According to a survey done by AmericaSaves.org, people with a plan are far more successful savers then those without. You don’t need to hire an accountant but you do need to take an honest assessment of how you spend your money. Studies show that only 55% of people are saving enough for retirement, so any long term plan needs to provide for retirement.
Reduce Expenses – Invariably you have been told to “cut back” by many well-intentioned people. There are many little things that can help. Perhaps you can spend an afternoon at a public park or library instead of a movie theater. Maybe try camping as an inexpensive vacation idea. Make coffee at home instead of going to Starbucks. Simple ideas can be a part of the solution.
Get a Better Job – Of course this would be wonderful. Unfortunately many people have limited options. Do you have children in school and need a job close to home with some flexibility? Are you a senior citizen who fears age discrimination in the job market? The fact is, finding a better job may not be realistic.
Move Out of the Bay Area – Study after study show the Bay Area is one of the most expensive places to live. In fact, some studies conclude the cost of living in the Bay Area is the highest in the country. If you’re retired or planning to retire soon, moving can make sense – a fixed income will go much farther somewhere else. However, if you’re not ready to retire you may find the lower wages keep the monthly budget tight.
Likely you’ve spent sleepless nights considering your options but still each month live paycheck to paycheck. Maybe it’s time to take a hard look at things. Did you know you have a right to bankruptcy? The word scares most people. The truth is, the never-ending cycle of living paycheck to paycheck is more daunting than bankruptcy. Imagine what it would be like if your credit card debt vanished. Picture yourself making a plan, being successful at saving. How would it feel to finally be able to save the way you need to? None of us are getting any younger so now is the time.
At the Law Office of Michael Primus we have helped thousands of clients get out of debt, stop wage garnishments, and start fresh through bankruptcy. If you live in Contra Costa, Alameda or Solano counties and have debt problems, contact us for a free in-office consultation. We have offices in Walnut Creek, Antioch, and Hercules.