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Book Review: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

book review

Dave Ramsey is a best selling author of many popular self-help books about getting your finances together. He’s inspired many with his simple, no-hassle philosophies on how to manage money. He also has a radio talk show called the Dave Ramsey Show, that you can listen to anywhere you listen to podcasts. He even started his own company built on his financial philosophies called Financial Peace University. Dave Ramsey and his colleagues have loads of resources you can find helpful in your own personal money management journey. Whether you are managing a household or a small business, Dave Ramsey has the financial advice you need to be successful and smart with your funds.

Today we’re going to take a focused look into one of Dave Ramsey’s most prolific publications, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. You’ve heard of fitness journeys and makeovers that change your style into something fresh and new, but Dave Ramsey takes all that and puts a financial spin onto it. With Dave Ramsey’s baby step plan you can exercise your financial abilities in ways you never thought possible and finally get into shape where your wallet is concerned.

What Kind of Book is The Total Money Makeover?

book cover

The Total Money Makeover is written as a self-help book. It’s even been compared to popular self-help books like, Your Best Life Now and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People because of the reader-friendly way it is written. It’s an engaging book with lots of real-world examples and stories from real people who have actually gone through Dave Ramsey’s baby steps and seen results. These short anecdotal stories throughout the book help all of Dave Ramsey’s concepts make clear common sense.

The book also includes a lot of motivational help along with the tips and advice. One of the biggest factors that holds people back from taking full control over their finances is the proper motivation and encouragement to make necessary changes to their lifestyle. Dave Ramsey helps with that too, giving you the fresh outlook you need to understand your goal and the rewards you can gain.

Dave Ramsey is also a Christian, so his books often have a religious undertone. So you may find him referencing Bible verses every so often in this book, and tackling religious views and practices with regard to money as well.

What’s in the Book?

The Total Money Makeover is essentially a step-by-step guide for how to go about your own personal money makeover journey. These steps are based on Dave Ramsey’s key money philosophies. Dave Ramsey has strict beliefs about not ever using debt, loans, or credit cards. He believes that our society today is too dependent on credit and that true financial freedom only comes when you live a completely debt free life. So the first steps in his plan are all about helping you get out of debt, and then setting you up to never get into debt again.

Simple and straightforward advice.

Dave Ramsey’s book became so popular probably because of how easy it is to follow his clearly set plan. Each step is specific enough to leave no doubts about what exactly you need to do, making his plan one that anyone can follow and find success. It also helps that he is never vague about his advice, but rather he is extremely straightforward, open, and honest.

Dave Ramsey has no get-rich-quick schemes. He’s more about using honest work, responsibility, and common sense to reach your goals. So you won’t find any crazy secrets to financial stability and success in his book, you’ll just finally learn to implement the basics in a way that really works.

A change in perspective.

Another reason people enjoy Dave Ramsey’s teachings is because he doesn’t pretend that money is what brings happiness. He’s realistic and believes that money is a tool to create stability and contentment in our lives, not the secret solution to all our problems.

He eloquently tackles many mental barriers and misconceptions many of us have about money, and works to not only change your behavior with money, but your perspective about money as well. One thing he talks about a lot is getting over the need to “keep up with the Joneses.” Often in life we compare ourselves to others in unhealthy ways, and sometimes those comparisons can lead us to make poor financial decisions for superficial reasons. So, when you read the Total Money Makeover be prepared to gain a whole new outlook on the purpose of money, and break free from comparing yourself to others.

The Money Makeover Baby Steps:

The main event of this self-help read are the baby steps the reader can take to reach financial peace and freedom. You can read a more detailed article about each of the 7 baby steps that Dave Ramsey will go through in this book, but we’ll go over a quick outline of those steps here too.

Emergency Fund

The first step in Dave Ramsey’s 7 step plan is to basically get your financial life in order. The road to stability starts by setting up your finance in a certain way. This begins with setting up an emergency fund. You can start with at least $1,000 in your emergency fund but eventually you’ll want to work your way toward having at least 6 months’ worth of expenses in your emergency fund at all times.

Debts

Once you start getting your emergency fund in place, it’s time to focus all other monetary efforts toward annihilating all your debts. He goes into more detail about this in the book. For example, he suggests you start with your smallest debts first and work your way up to your larger ones. He also recommends you save paying off your mortgage for last. But eventually the idea is to throw everything you can at your debts until they are all completely wiped out.

Build Wealth

Now it’s time to build wealth and continue saving. Since Dave Ramsey argues you should pay for everything in cash, continually building up your financial stores is an important aspect of the Dave Ramsey lifestyle. You have to have enough in savings to cover all your costs completely with cash.

In the book Dave Ramsey goes into more detail about what savings you should prioritize. He advises that you first complete your 6 months’ worth emergency fund if you haven’t gotten there already. Then he suggests you work toward saving for retirement and (if you have kids or plan on having kids) your children’s college funds.

Things You Can Do Differently:

Dave Ramsey’s primary goal in all of this is to help people get out of crippling debt and stay out of it. But there are modifications you can make to his more rigorous financial plan.

You can choose how much you want in your emergency fund.

If you’re a college student then putting aside even $1,000 may be more difficult for you. But that’s ok! Just put aside what you can. Even just adding $5 to $10 a month into an emergency fund is better than having no emergency fund at all.

Likewise, if you’re more settled in life it might be easier for you to put even more than $1,000 aside into an emergency fund. It really doesn’t matter how you do it, what matters most is that you start accumulating that safety fund in order to be more prepared for surprise expenses in the future.

You can still use credit cards and loans.

Dave Ramsey may believe in using only cash to pay for things but there are advantages to using credit cards and installment loans. When used responsibly using credit can help boost your credit score and get you the things you need to have a comfortable life. Credit cards can also provide lots of perks outside of boosting credit scores. Some credit cards come with special points that can go toward paying for things like groceries and traveling. So long as you understand your limits and include loans and credit payments in your carefully calculated budget and financial plans, you’ll be just fine.

Should I Read This Book?

You may now be wondering whether you should give this book a read or not. You should definitely read this book if . . .

  • you are in debt
  • you have trouble managing your money or realizing where your money goes
  • you have trouble making a budget

If you are looking for a book with more specific details about financial topics (like investing, or small businesses) then you should check out Dave Ramsey’s other books that go more in depth on complex financial topics. The Total Money Makeover doesn’t expound upon these topics too much since it was written more as a beginners guide to Dave Ramsey’s financial baby steps.

 

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Check out some other helpful reviews about Dave Ramsey’s book, the Total Money Makeover:

Review: The Total Money Makeover

The Total Money Makeover Review

Goodreads


Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps

dave ramsey baby steps

Are you trying to get out of debt? Do you want more financial stability and freedom? Are your finances one of the bigger stresses in your life right now? If any of these sentiments apply to you then Dave Ramsey’s 7 baby steps might be just what you need to cure your money blues.

Table of Contents

Step 1: Start an Emergency Fund
Step 2: Focus on Debts
Step 3: Complete Your Emergency Fund
Step 4: Save for Retirement
Step 5: Start a College Fund
Step 6: Pay Off Your House
Step 7: Build Wealth

Dave Ramsey is a guy who, through personal experience, was able to get out of debt and find financial peace of mind. He is now a financial expert with courses and books to help the everyday person get in control of their finances.

The best place to start when trying to regain control over your finances and achieve a full “money makeover” is to start with his 7 step plan. This plan has 7 baby steps that you follow to reach more financial stability and get to the point where you can start building wealth.

Step 1: Start an Emergency Fund

car maintenance

The first step in Dave Ramsey’s 7 step plan is, “Save $1,000 for Your Starter Emergency Fund.”

One of the main reasons people struggle with money is because necessary emergency expenses (like medical bills, car bills, or home repairs) come out of nowhere and drag you deeper and deeper into debt. But if you are preemptively prepared for these surprise expenses then they won’t take you off guard again.

So the very first thing you should do when getting your money in line is to get an emergency fund started. Save up an emergency fund in a separate bank account, until you have at least $1,000 in the account. This will be the start of the emergency fund that will keep sudden necessary expenses from plunging you into deep debts because you weren’t prepared.

Step 2: Focus on Debts

debts

The second step in Dave Ramsey’s plan is to “Pay Off All Debt (Except the House) Using the Debt Snowball.”

The snowball method that Dave Ramsey refers to here means that you start by paying off small debts first, and work your way up to the bigger debts. Debts can include paying off your car, credit card debts, and student loans.

First, make a giant list of all your debts, every single one, except for your mortgage if you have a house. Then, put your list of debts in order from the smallest debt amount to the largest. Then you go through knocking out each debt by eliminating the smallest debts first and working your way up to the largest debt last.

Step 3: Complete Your Emergency Fund

medical bills

The third step is to “Save 3 to 6 Months of Expenses in a Fully Funded Emergency Fund.”

Now that you’ve gotten all your debts out of the way, it’s time to finish your emergency fund. You can use the same money you were using to pay off debts each month and put it toward your emergency fund until it has enough to cover 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses and bills. Then you’ll really be prepared for anything.

Reasons to Have an Emergency Fund

  1. If you lose your job.
  2. You won’t have to worry because you’ll have enough to last you 6 months. This will give you the time you’ll need to find a new job.

  3. If your car breaks down.
  4. You’ll be able to pay for the necessary repairs, the tow truck, or even for a new car in some cases.

  5. Medical bills.
  6. Don’t let your health and necessary medical bills keep you from staying afloat financially.

  7. Home repairs.
  8. If something happens to your home you’ll be able to fix the problem rather than living with it.

Having an emergency fund is THE key to keeping you out of debt in the future. After getting yourself out of debt, an emergency fund is what will keep you from getting back into debt in the future.

Step 4: Save for Retirement

retirement

The fourth step in the Dave Ramsey plan is to, “Invest 15% of Your Household Income in Retirement.”

After your debts are gone and your emergency fund is taken care of, it’s time to start seeing to other important savings like a 401K. Dave Ramsey recommends you take 15% of your gross monthly income and put it toward a retirement fund each month. To figure out how much you should be putting into your retirement fund each month, take your monthly income and multiply that number by 0.15.

Step 5: Start a College Fund

college funds

The fifth step to Dave Ramsey’s plan is to, “Save for Your Children’s College Fund.”

Avoiding student loan debts can be one of the biggest factors in staying out debt as a young adult. If you can pay for your kids college tuition then you’ll ensure their financial security in the future, as they’ll better be able to stay out debt. Dave Ramsey recommends using either a 529 college savings plans, or an education savings accounts (ESA). Talk to your bank or credit union about setting up these accounts for these specific purposes.

Step 6: Pay Off Your House

mortgage

The next to last step in this 7 step plan is to, “Pay Off Your Home Early.”

Put all the extra monthly income you have into your mortgage so you can finish paying it off early. After this step you will officially have no debts whatsoever! All of your earnings will go to you instead of getting drained away in large debts and payments.

Step 7: Build Wealth

wealth and legacy

Finally, it is time to, “Build Wealth and Give.”

Congratulations! Once you’ve reached the 7th step in Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps, you can start focusing on building your wealth and leaving a legacy. Don’t forget to keep and maintain those financial safety nets like a healthy emergency fund, retirement account, savings account, and college funds.

Now you are officially in charge of your money rather than it being in charge of you.

Financial freedom is possible for you! Everyone can do it and Dave Ramsey’s 7 baby steps can help you get there. Dave Ramsey also has other resources that can help you implement this plan. You can participate in Dave Ramsey’s program, books, and podcasts.

You can take the actual course with Financial Peace University.

Dave Ramsey also has a free customized plan and assessment that you can do right now, in just 3 minutes!

Listen to the Dave Ramsey Show anywhere you listen to podcasts or radio.

 
Dave Ramsey’s 7 baby steps to financial freedom can help you with so many aspects of your life. They can help you decide when to buy a house or help you get situated for saving for a house. It’s a checklist program that can help you get rid of loans and debt (like student loans), or even help you get to where you can budget for a wedding.

Another way you can get some needed financial help is to take out an Installment Loan at Check City! Installment loans can help you stay on top of your bill payments and avoid late fees, which can really hurt your long-term financial goals.
 

READ MORE

Browse Dave Ramsey’s online store for more great financial resources to help you on your financial journey.

Read more helpful articles on the Dave Ramsey Blog

Learn more about the debt snowball, “How the Debt Snowball Method Works.”

Read Dave Ramsey’s full article on his 7 baby steps, “What Are the Baby Steps?

Stay out of debt through college by using these tips, “How to Stay Debt Free through Grad School.”


7 Proven Tools to Help You Get Out of Debt

A mountain of debt is nothing to scoff at. It’s a huge financial burden to have a 30-year mortgage, car payments, and a few short-term loans, e.g. payday loans, title loans, etc., demanding attention every month. If there was ever anything that made you feel like you never see your paycheck, it’s paying off debts.

For that reason, many are looking to dig themselves out of the mountain of debt that builds up well above their heads. The following are 7 tools that have been proven effective at helping families get out of debt.

First, if you can afford it, pay more than the minimum payment each month. Every extra penny you put towards paying off your loans brings the end of your debt a little closer. For a short-term loan, you can decrease the term of the loan by a month or two. For a mortgage, you could reduce the term by a year or two. The latter would take considerable effort, but if you worked efficiently through the following tips, you could make it happen.

Second, make more money every month. Easier said than done right? Digging out of a sticky situation is never easy though. It requires effort. The best thing about this effort is that it improves your overall financial situation for the day you finally do dig yourself out. You can make more money by seeking a raise, promotion, alternative or additional work, or starting your own business. If you don’t go for the raise/promotion, this may mean that you put in more hours at work with the other options. A nice alternative to the extra hours is when a spouse agrees to work as well (assuming that they’re not already). Sharing the load can help get you out of debt quickly.

Third, spend less in your day-to-day life. Reduce your food expenditures by cooking at home more. Reduce your grocery bills by planning meals around coupons. Cut down on your vehicle maintenance payments with carpooling, public transportation, and selling an extra car (that you could live without). Sharing gas, using public vehicles, or getting rid of an extra car each come with significant financial gains to your budget. You spend more every month on driving yourself to work every day than you’d expect. There’s something in every aspect of your life that you could label as excess. Find those points and replace them with cheaper alternatives or save all the money by cutting them completely. You’ll save a ton of money that you could put toward debt payments this way.

Fourth, avoid replacing your debt with more debt. Taking out a second loan to pay off your first one just puts you in a hole for longer.

Fifth, refinance a loan if at all possible. After a long period of good behavior, you can approach your lender for some leniency. They can take a look at your loan again to reevaluate the situation. If you meet their requirements, you can get your interest rate reduced. In terms of a mortgage, that could mean several thousand dollars less you owe the bank. Every scoop your lender can dig off for you is a win. Seek a refinance when it’s possible.

Sixth, put a little away every month into a saving’s account. Even $20 a month will go a long ways in a year. Every little bit helps. Put away money as a buffer for upcoming payments and as a safeguard for your family. If anything were to happen to your job, you would be immediately hard put to pay off your debts, otherwise your lender could walk in and take back the value of your loan. In some cases this could mean your home, leaving you penniless, homeless, and a hundred thousand dollars poorer with nothing to show for it.

Seventh, make a budget. If you have one already, reevaluate it. Once it’s built, don’t spend a penny more for anything that’s not enumerated in the budget. Make the budget a law that you live by. If you do this, you can keep your spending to predictable amount, allowing you to save more money to pay off your bills.
As you apply these seven principles, you’ll be able to chip away a bit more at your mountain of debt. Become proactive in your debt management. The sooner you do, the sooner you can declare yourself financially independent. Once you reach that point, you can finally reap the benefits of a healthy paycheck.

Ways to Keep Track of Your Spending

In our modern economy, many people have complained that they have had trouble finding a job. Indeed, jobs are scarce which means that money is scarce.

Many people have had to make due with living on a much smaller budget than they are used to. Doing this can cause much financial stress within a family.

Financial stress is not pleasant to go through. Nobody wants to be labeled as poor or to live in poverty.

However, sometimes this is just what happens to people. It is truly unfortunate what it does happen.

It’s Now How Much You Make…

What many people don’t realize is that they do not need to make lots and lots of money to have the things that they need. They can rearrange and reorganize the money they are currently making so that they can make ends meet.

Many people do not know how to make a budget, and this is one of the main causes of their financial stress. Here are a few tips on how you can better manage your money.

Try the Envelope Method

One of the things you can do is to create an envelope system that will aid you with your budgeting. You will need to gather several envelopes and label them with the categories of your budget.
For example, one envelope could read “Food.” Another envelope could include “Rent”, and so on.
Continue to label the envelopes according to the categories that are relevant to your life. You may be wondering what you are going to do with these envelopes.

What you do is withdraw the cash amount from your bank account that feel will cover your needs in each specific area for a month. The point of this strategy is that you can only use the money in the envelope that you have allotted for each category.

Once you run out of cash for a specific category, you cannot spend any more money in that category. This strategy helps you see how much money you need for each category; it also teaches you discipline because you cannot buy every single thing that you want to buy.

Only Buy What You Need

This strategy additionally helps you to see how important it is to buy the necessities and essentials first before you spend your money on extra things that aren’t as essential. Many Americans have the problem of buying things that they don’t need.

This is a problem because they oftentimes buy things they don’t need instead of buying the things that they do need. One of the reasons why so many people struggle with this is because while they’re considering if they need to buy something or not, they convince themselves that the item is something that they need instead of something that they just want.

People oftentimes have a hard time distinguishing between wants and needs, and they don’t realize until later that the thing that they bought may not really have been a need. It is important to not get too angry with yourself if you buy a lot of things you don’t need, however.

Learning to distinguish between wants and needs come with time, experience, and practice, just like everything else. Be gentle and kind with yourself while shopping and you will learn eventually.

Another great way to discipline yourself financially is to match whatever you spend on nonessential indulgences and put that in your savings account. For example, if you spend $50 on a new shirt, make sure that you can put $50 into your savings account.

If you don’t want to do this, than you shouldn’t buy the $50 shirt. This method does not work for everyone, but for some people it is just what they need to discipline themselves while in a store.

How Much is Too Much

Another great way to establish a savings discipline is to take the amount an item costs and to divide it into your hourly wage. For example, if you want to buy a $50 shirt and you make $10 an hour, that would mean that you would work for 5 hours to be able to buy that shirt.
The question you should ask yourself is if that shirt is worth five long hours of work. If it is, then go ahead and buy it.

If it’s not, then you would probably be better off spending that money on something else. As mentioned above, it is your money and you get the final say as to what happens to it.

Just make sure that you are wise with your money, otherwise you will see it disappear very quickly.

Reducing Credit Card Debt Wisely

When you know that you need to reduce your credit card debt, it is important to understand that you will need a plan. Planning to reduce your credit card debt will enable you to track your progress and ensure that you are going to achieve the goals that you have set. Don’t be afraid to sit down and assess your situation to ensure that you are able to make a comprehensive plan that will help you get out of your credit card debt as soon as possible.

Lower Those Interest Rates

First, you should be sure that you know where you stand. There are a lot of people that do not have an accurate idea of how much money they really owe to their creditors. You should be sure that you take the time that you need to look through all of your debt and figure out exactly how much you owe and to whom you owe money.

Once you have figured out how much money you owe you will then want to figure out the interest rate for each line of credit. Paying off credit with a high interest rate first will ensure that you are not wasting money throughout the time that you are working on paying off your debt. Make sure that you have your interest rates correct when you are figuring out which line of credit you will want to start working on first.

When you know how much your interest rates are, you will then want to see if you can get them lowered. There are a lot of people that do not realize that by simply calling their creditor they can get their interest rate lowered and save hundreds of dollars as they are working on paying off their debt. Call each of your credit card companies and make sure that you ask politely to see if there is any way that you can get a lower interest rate.

Consolidate Those Debts

Once you’ve negotiated your interest rates as low as you can with your credit card company you should look into whether you could get lower rates with a debt consolidation loan. Getting a debt consolidation loan will often allow you to pay off all of your higher interest credit card debts with a more manageable lower interest loan. It will also allow you to focus on paying off one loan as opposed to making payments to several different companies each month.

After you know exactly what you owe and who you owe it to, you will then want to track the costs that you incur throughout the month. There are a lot of people that do not realize how much money they are spending on things that they do not need. You should take the time that you need to look through the different costs that you incur and then figure out which costs you can systematically get rid of. When you know which costs you can get rid of, you can put that money toward the debt that you are working on paying off.

Figure Out a Budget

As you get your finances under control, you will also want to create a reasonable budget for yourself. A reasonable budget will provide you with the money that you need to pay all of your necessary bills and ensure that you are not spending too much money. Don’t be afraid to reach a little outside of your comfort zone with your budget. You may need to cut some of your luxury expenses, but getting your finances under control will be well worth the cuts.

When you have your finances under control, you can then start making payments on your credit cards. The most effective way to eliminate debt is to put all of your extra cash toward the credit card with the highest interest rate. You want to make sure that you put as much money as you can towards paying down your debt. While you are doing this you will also want to make the minimum payments on any other credit card.

As you pay off a credit card you can then move the cash that you were using for that card and put it into another card. Continue paying off all of your cards to ensure that you do not owe any money to a credit card company when you are done.

Once you get yourself out of debt, it is important that you then stay out of debt. Working to stay out of debt can be frustrating when you are used to poor spending habits, but if you can recognize those habits and do all that you can to change them, you will be able to keep your debt to a minimum. One additional tool that you can use to help you stay out of debt is prepaid credit cards, this will allow you to still use the functionality of a credit card for paying bills etc.. but you will be more aware of how much you’re spending. When you keep your debt to a minimum, you can use your money as you wish rather than having your minimum payments dictate where you can spend your money.

Climbing Out of Credit Card Debt

Getting out of credit card debt can feel like an insurmountable challenge, but if you give yourself time to accomplish your goal and if you go about accomplishing your goal properly you may find that you are able to get rid of your credit card debt a lot faster than you would have thought. There are some simple steps that you can dedicate yourself to and these steps should help you get out of debt and be on your way to financial freedom in no time.

Evaluate Your Current Debt

First, you will want to start by evaluating the debt that you are in. Make sure that you go through all of your financial documents and take the time that you need to assess your financial situation. You should understand how much debt you are in and make sure that you know what your interest rates are for each line of credit that you are using. When you know what interest rate is the highest, you can pay down that line of credit quickly to ensure that you are only spending a minimum amount of money on interest as you are paying off your debt.

Create a Budget You Can Stick To

Second, you should be sure that you can create a budget that you will stick to. Creating a budget can be difficult if you are not used to the process, but it is important that you understand how to allocate your money. Allocating your money properly will ensure that you have leftover money to pay off the debt that you have gotten yourself into.

Creating a plan to pay off your debt will ensure that you are going to be making progress toward your goal. It is important that you set a goal for yourself and that you also map out how you are going to get to your goal. When you know how you are going to get to your goal, you can take each step, one at a time, rather than getting overwhelmed with a goal that is too large.

Debt Consolidation Can Make Budgeting Easier

You may find that it is easiest to manage your debt by consolidating the debt. As you take the time to consolidate your debt, you won’t have to keep track of a payment schedule for more than one payment. With a consolidated debt, you will be able to make one payment every month and be sure that you are staying up to date with your debt payments.

Many people do not realize that they may be able to save a lot of money by simply talking to their creditor. When you have an open dialect with your creditor you may find that you are able to get your interest rate minimized and save a lot of money in the future.

After you have gotten yourself out of debt, it is important that you know how you are going to stay out of debt. Once you are out of debt, you want to make sure that you keep the good habits that you were able to establish throughout the time that you were paying off your debt. When you have established these habits, you may want to write down what works the best for you. Whether printing out a weekly budget works the best for you or taking out cash so you do not use a debit card works best, you should understand how you are going to keep yourself within the parameters of your budget.

Staying within your budget may seem like it is restrictive, but being able to use your money as you please rather than pushing your money toward a monthly payment that you need to make is freeing. Staying within your budget allows you to allocate money toward the bills that are necessary and then the expenses that may not be necessary but that you want.

Doing all that you can to work through your budget and develop a healthy outlook on the money that you spend is a great way to ensure that you are in control of your finances.

If you feel that your finances are out of control, you may want to talk with a professional debt counselor. You can work with someone that will help you figure out the best plan of attack for your debt. With the help of a professional, your debt may begin to feel more manageable and you can be sure that you are able to use your money as you see fit.

Easy Steps to Saving Money

We all know that saving money can be very difficult. There are numerous attractive things that we want to buy, no matter what stage of life we’re in. But learning how to save money holds many benefits for your life now, as well as down the road. Here are a few tips on how to better save your money.

1. Get rid of your debt. Paying off debt each month obviously sucks up a lot of your money that could be going elsewhere, like into savings. It’s also important to see that the less debt you have, the less interest you’re going to pay. And again, that frees up more money for you to put elsewhere.

2. Set financial goals. If you’re saving up for something big, it’s very important to plan ahead so you don’t end up going into more debt. If you’re planning on buying a house in the next 5 years, start saving now. The same thing goes for a car or any other big purchase. And although it may seem far off, it is never too early to start saving for your retirement. It’s important to set realistic time-frames for these goals, so you can actually purchase the desired thing in the desired amount of time. As you set these goals understand that there might be some months that you still fall short, and may need some additional assistance like a cash advance or money transfer from a friend or family matter. The important thing is to not get discouraged and keep working at it.

3. Make specific calculations. Figure out how much you’ll need to set aside to accomplish each of your savings goals. This will take time and effort, but it will be worth it in the long run if you’re serious about your goals. Going into debt can seem enticing these days, because there are so many ways to do it and the consequences seem minimal. But trying to live within your means and not going into debt will serve you better in the long run.

Saving money can be hard, but with patience and a concentrated effort, it’s definitely achievable.

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