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Four Steps to Controlling Your Finances

Online personal loans are a good way to help fill in occasional gaps in cash flow, but curbing your spending can also help. Learn how with our helpful four-step guide.

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  1. Go green. The best way to avoid a constant need for direct personal loans is to pay in cash for every purchase you can. Using credit cards and, to a lesser extent, debit cards can lead to the formation of bad habits that end up monopolizing your cash flow. When you pay in cash, how much you're spending sinks in more so you tend to spend less. If you really have trouble breaking yourself of the plastic habit, try putting your credit cards in water then freezing them. That way, you will have access to them when you need them but won't be tempted to use them for impulse purchases.
  2. Make a plan. Buying things without thought to goals or future expenses is often what leads to the need for financial relief. You can start planning by writing down all of your expenditures per month. Unless you put it on paper, you might not even realize that you spend $300 on lunches out every month. Take a look at where your money goes to determine if you're spending on the things that matter most to you. For example, you might take your lunch to work and instead devote that $300 to an emergency fund (lessening your need for direct personal loans) or a down payment on a car.
  3. Start saving. When you encounter cash flow problems, you basically have two options: you can borrow, using direct personal loans or other credit, or tap into savings. Savings are a great buffer against life's unexpected expenses. Ideally, you should save 10% of your income, but you can start small. Begin by saving 1-2% of your paychecks and work your way up. Remember to pay yourself first or it tends not to happen.
  4. Enjoy your newfound financial freedom. If you follow the above steps to curtail your spending, you should discover that not having to depend on financing, credit cards, etc. can actually be freeing. You will soon find how good it feels to have control over your money instead of money and debts controlling you. You won't have to scramble to make ends meet, and you will be able to allot more of your money on the things that are important to you.

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