So, you need cash from structured settlements; it’s not surprising: everyone wishes that they had more money. For some, they think that getting cash from structured settlements is a key to financial freedom. However, selling a settlement can come at a cost – your future financial security when those payments are gone or reduced. Thus, before you sell your structured settlement you should do a little financial checkup and ensure that you have the good money habits to make your money go further and ensure your financial security into the future.
Following are a few tips to help you manage your money, before you consider cash from structured settlements:.
1. Create a budget.
One of the main reasons why people can’t get out of debt, or are in debt to begin with, is because they don’t stick to a budget. Budgeting is the only way to truly manage how much money flows in and out, and to see where you can make some cuts to your spending. If you budget correctly and realistically, and you have the will power to stick to it, you will always find a way to control your living expenses and save for your future. Set up a paper budget where you list out all of your expenses (rent or mortgage, utilities, health insurance, pet food, car insurance, gas – everything).
2. Pay your bills first.
This might sound like a silly tip, but it’s not. Too many people get excited when their paycheck or structured settlement check comes around and they go out to dinner or go on a spending spree before they pay their bills. Then, when bill time comes there isn’t enough money left to pay them. Pay your bills before you spend any money from your check. In fact, you might go further with your budget and list out each paycheck and what bills you will pay with that check. Then, pay these bills before you put any cash in your wallet.
3. Give yourself an allowance.
Too many of us spend too much money eating out, or clothes shopping, or on our hobbies. We simply have to learn to budget and stick to it! So, after you do your budget figure out how much money is left. Allot some of this to a savings account, and then give yourself the rest as your allowance – this is your disposable money that you can spend on eating out, new music, a movie, and so forth. By doing this you also learn to live within your means.
4. Live on cash.
People spend less money when they have to shell out actual paper dollars. In addition, when you use “real” money instead of checks and credit cards you can better monitor your spending – those debit receipts add up without your realizing it, but you can see the cash in your wallet dwindle. Take out a set amount of cash each week and live on just that.
5. Be responsible with credit cards
If you only pay the minimum on all your credit cards, you’ll never pay them in full and you’ll end up paying way more interest than what you had initially spent. Credit cards should be used only for the convenience of not having to carry cash. Credit cards should not be used as an easy form of borrowing – they are too expensive (their rates are too high) and you should not borrow money for your daily living expenses.
6. Live within your means
Too many people spend more than they are bringing in. Getting cash from structured settlements won’t help you if you continue to live beyond your means. People like to spend money on new things, on eating out, on making sure that they are looking good! That’s ok, if you can afford it, which means that as long as you are saving some money and spending less than you are earning, then go ahead and spend, spend, spend. But, if you struggle to make ends meet every month, or you see your credit card balance go up every month, then you know that you are spending more than you are making, and you are heading for a pile of stress and unhappiness. Do whatever you can to stop doing that! It may be uncomfortable for you at the start because you feel that your standard of living is going down. BUT, you will be much happier at the end, because your standard of living will actually go up, as you stop paying too much interest, as you save more, and as you have more money for investment and retirement.
When life throws you a curve and you are considering getting cash from structured settlements, call Strategic Capital for a free quote. But also consider the above, and whether making some adjustments to your financial habits can help your situation.