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5 Things to Do to Improve Your Financial Situation Today

Getting in control of your money doesn’t happen overnight. But as they say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Here are five easy (really, I promise, they’re not hard!) things you can do to improve your financial situation today.

Let’s call this a weekend project, shall we?

If you set aside 30 minutes and follow these five steps, your financial situation will improve.

  • 1. Stop Using Credit Cards 1 of 5
    STOP USING CREDIT CARDS

    We've talked about this before, but it's really important to simply stop using credit cards. Take them out of your wallet and put them somewhere safe. This is a scary step, I know. But it's so important.

     

    It was really hard for me to let go of my credit card. After all, it was the one thing that allowed me to stay afloat (if even just barely) when there was very little money coming in. So, even though I knew it was the best first step, it was a really hard one to take.

     

    You don't have to cut up your cards. You just have to get them out of your wallet. You can put them in the freezer if you want! Or you can put them in a drawer.

     

    However, now's not the time to cancel your cards. Canceling an old credit card will damage your credit score. So, don't cancel them. Just stop using them.



    Image via Frugal Portland

  • 2. Assess the Situation 2 of 5
    ASSESS

    Log in to all of your accounts. All your credit cards. Even the store credit cards. The car loan. The student loan. The medical loan. The personal loan. Figure out your total amount owed.

     

    Open a spreadsheet on your computer. Give each debt a line item. Make the numbers negative, so, if you owe $3,973 on one credit card, make sure to write -3973. This is for graphing purposes later, and a fantastic mind trick. We're focusing on the positives, so when we make a payment, the number gets closer to zero, and the graph shows that we're busy climbing toward something rather than away from something.

     

    Image via Frugal Portland

  • 3. Pull Your Credit Score 3 of 5
    PULL

    Did you know that you're allowed to pull your credit score for free once a year? In fact, you should be aware of your credit score.

     

    If it's been awhile since you've last checked your credit, check out Credit Sesame. It's a free service that monitors your score for you.

     

    Add your score to your spreadsheet. We'll start tracking this, too.



    Image via Frugal Portland

  • 4. Forgive Your Transgressions 4 of 5
    TRANSG

    Creating a spreadsheet and figuring out your credit score were two things that probably made you feel a little icky. It's really easy to start beating yourself up about this and stop here. But don't make that mistake. You're not a bad person.

     

    There's a great trick to help you move on. Think of your past self as a different person. Say to yourself, "Past Self did a lot of boneheaded things and got into a mountain of debt. Thank goodness Current Self is here to save the day! Future Self is going to look back one and be really proud of the steps Current Self is taking."

     

    That way, you'll be better able to leave mistakes in the past. If Past Self made money mistakes, and you're no longer Past Self, then you're a lot less likely to slip back into old bad patterns. Because you're not that person anymore.

     

    Image via Frugal Portland

  • 5. Decide to Change 5 of 5
    DECIDE

    Your assessment spreadsheet is ground zero. Square one. And today, it's your lowest point. All actions you take are positive, as long as you decide to change.

     

    You should be commended for taking this first step. You're no longer the person you were before. You know where you stand, you've seen your credit report, and you've forgiven yourself for those past mistakes.


    No matter where you go next, you're going places.



    Image via Frugal Portland

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