Higher Taxes: It’s Time to Manage Your Finances

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Sudbury city councilors have proposed a tax increase of 3.4 percent come 2020. Higher taxes will converge will higher fuel costs, taking bigger bites off your paycheck. Managing your finances is essential if you want to get out of the red any time soon.

Control Your Spending

Stop your unnecessary purchases, especially expensive cups of coffee that you can make yourself. Take note of your extravagant purchases and habits and try to reduce them by half. Limit eating out to once a week or less and make your food at home. Source your food from the grocery or the markets. Cooking your food is 5-10 times cheaper than eating out, and the food is also a lot healthier. Leave your credit card at home. Having it with you gives you a safety net that allows you to splurge on unnecessary items. Stick to cash and only carry what you’ll need for the day. Instead of going out, invite your friends over to your house for dinner and drinks, you’ll still be spending, but not as much compared to dining out. Get rid of gym memberships you don’t use or any other service that might be charging your credit card monthly. Find out where your card is bleeding money and cut off the connections.

Manage Your Debt

Start paying off your debts one-by-one or try to find a company that would consolidate your debt and offers agreeable terms. Consolidated debt is easier to pay, and most companies that would carry your debt charge lower interests compared to credit card companies. Seeing all of your mortgages as a lump sum can be shocking and disheartening, but a little bit of consolidated debt counseling can do you good. Talk to the company that manages your debt and make a plan of action to get you out of the red. Paying one entity instead of several is easier and a lot more convenient. Banks charge a bit of money for every transaction, so reducing the time you use them can save a bit of money. Find the root cause of all your debt and try to talk about it with friends, family, or support groups.

Look for Alternative Avenues to Earn

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Ask for a raise and double your overtime hours. However, if your wages can’t cover your lifestyle, it’s time to get another job. That doesn’t mean quitting your current job — it means getting a second or a third job. Look for seasonal jobs that require very little expertise. Jobs in agriculture or tourism often require hundreds of workers, and schedules can often be quite flexible. Turn an extra room into an Airbnb or just rent it out. Of course, you’ll have to be careful in choosing your tenants. Make sure they’re trustworthy and have the ability to pay. If you have a decent car, sign up to drive for Uber. Drivers tend to make $20 per hour, so a few extra hours after work should earn you a few hundred dollars every month.

With the economy taking a downturn and the city council proposing higher taxes, managing your finances has become essential, especially if you want to get out of the red.

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