So, you have decided to get organized and put yourself on a budget. It’s about time. This means that you are probably also ready to lower your debt. You are probably thinking to yourself, “how did I get into this mess?” Before you know it, your spending has gotten out of hand. Some people have the tendency to overspend when they are unhappy, stressed, bored, or just plain lonely. Or maybe you are just the kind of person who doesn’t manage money well. That is all about to change. Just listen to my advice. Feel free to go to the Resources page of my website at divorcecoachforyou.com to find budget worksheets and links to side jobs, business ideas and other valuable resources. You can fill out the worksheets and the totals will be calculated for you. Let me know if you have any questions. My next topic will cover how to go about paying off your debt. So be sure to tune in for that. I will also advise you how to set up a debt management spreadsheet at that time. Stick with me. I will help you get your finances on track for the new year. More importantly, I will also teach you how to save for a rainy day. You know they always come when you least expect them. So, it’s best to be prepared with your raincoat or umbrella.
List all forms of net income (gross minus taxes) that you currently have coming in. Then list each monthly expense. If you have expenses that are paid quarterly divide them by 3, twice a year divide them by 6 and once a year divide them by twelve. Now that you have calculated your monthly expenses, multiply your net monthly income (gross minus taxes) by 5%. This will equal your miscellaneous monthly expenses or money you will put aside each month for unexpected expenses. You can adjust this percentage up or down depending on your needs. Try not to go below 2%. Transfer this amount monthly to a savings account and don’t touch it except in an emergency. That beautiful dress or hot pair of shoes is not an emergency! If you find that your expenses seem too high, look at areas where you can possibly cut back. I know you love that trip to Starbucks every morning, but you can make your own coffee. You can find some great flavored coffees and creamers in the grocery store. You will get used to it over time, especially when you can save approximately $30 a week. You can put that additional $30 toward your miscellaneous expenses or paying down a credit card.
Now that you have completed your budget worksheet, review it. How do you stand? Can you make ends meet? If not, you may need to look at ways to earn additional income. Having a side gig or hustle has become popular in the last few years. There are many options for the seasoned woman. There are part-time jobs and part-time business opportunities available. A good place to start is the AARP website. They cater to individuals 50 and older. The annual fee is $20 and cheaper if you join for multiple years. Companies are finding workers who qualify for Medicare to be attractive since there may not be a need to cover their health insurance costs. They are also more attractive as managers since they bring experience and skills that can be taught to younger workers. Individuals 55 and older comprise the fastest-growing share of the labor force. So that is good news for the seasoned woman.
By Emmerstine Mackie
Divorce Coach for the Seasoned Woman