Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bill Analysis to Control Home Budgets

How many make the time to analyze their bills? Or is accepting the price we pay for services and utilities the end of story? We complain. We pay. Do most of us feel we have no control over our money or the bills we choose to pay? Is accepting the “due” amount entrapping us to feel we have no options or bill control?

These horrible feelings of money defeat, bill worries, and financial stresses can take a real toll on our medical health too. If one does not have the ability to know something than one does have the ability to learn something new to decrease the issues that arise from money problems.  

When we seek solutions to solve our problems; we produce positive changes. If we stare and grumble at the money problems and do not seek solutions than all we get is the same bad cycle. 

Many times, we get into a cycle of monthly bill paying that we focus only on the stress of paying debt, instead of, being competitive shoppers to get out of debt. We say we can’t do any different. But yet, we fail to seek new ways to do old things. Whose fault does this become?

If a door does exist to go through the wall we want too. We would build a door to go through it. If bills are higher than we can afford to pay, we must decrease the bills to pay them. This is not rocket science. But it does take awareness and self-discipline to control money and manage finances to pay our bills comfortably to what we can afford.

Let’s view some health issues that come from staring at our bills and what happens when we don’t analyze bills or fail to control bill debt.

  1. Headaches and migraines (44% with high debt stress versus 4% with low)
  2. Depression (23% versus 4%)
  3. Heart attacks (6% versus 3%)
  4. Muscle tension and lower back pain (51% versus 31%)
  5. Ulcers and digestive problems (27% versus 8%)
Many will borrow money from family or friends to get through until payday. This can work in theory, without producing additional stresses in true emergencies. If a hot water heater quit working or a car part breaks on a vehicle and this is the only mode of transportation to get a family member to work; these are true emergencies the borrower has no control over.

However, many more times; people borrow money from each other due to failure to control, budget, and manage their money. When borrowing $20 becomes $40 and $100 monthly habits from family or friends; than the money stresses get carried to their family or friends that were borrowed from.
This vicious cycle does not seem to end when it becomes a bad habit of failure to manage and budget money. The stress the borrower is enduring from not having enough money is now given to the one borrowed from. Immediate stress maybe decreased from the borrower, but it has now been given to the one borrowed from. 

How is this healthy as a requester of borrowing money or as the giver who lends money? Money produces stress, but it does not have too.

When we allow others to borrow money, we are not teaching anything about long-term wise and responsible financial management skills. We are teaching others that they can create a problem and others will solve this for them.  That’s sad. Americans know better and can learn to do better to control money and budget bills.

Let’s look at cell phone bills as an example of bill analysis. Many today, young and old; invest into expensive cell phone plans and expensive phones to keep up with the trends of technology. The unlimited packages of texting, calling, and browsing the web of social network is what most do want at their fingertips. But how much is this really costing? Are we getting a quality value or are we living a competitive lifestyle that we cannot reasonably and financially afford?

New and used cell phone devices can cost anywhere from $100-$1000 per device for quality items. The monthly plan to carry this mobile device is $50.00 for the cheapest of unlimited everything in most prepaid or pay as you go services.
This is $600 a year for one person. This does not include the cost of the device nor does this include family share plans or multiple plans in a home. A family of five would easily pay $3000 a year for cell phone service. 

In raising a family or even as we age, our communications and demand of cell phone devices and plans will change.In evaluating, what we need versus what we want; we learn what we can financially live without and what is financially stressing us from paying for things we want that we cannot afford.

Remember, money is numbers and math and nothing more. Mobile devices and cell phones are tools of communication. They are nothing more, even though, retail pressure and acquaintances make it a competitiveness that it never should never be.

By analyzing, the cell phone bill; one will see the minutes used, talk time, and internet usage of their mobile device. You may have needed unlimited everything when your children were at home or for your job or whatever the reason; but that may have changed now. Bills should change by the life we have in our homes and by our budgets of what we can afford. We should not have any bill that puts us in a financial hardship. Especially, if these bills are competitions with lifestyles that we cannot afford to live outside our home.

I know many will think these strategies will not work. Perhaps, many will feel deprived because they know deep within; they cannot afford it, and will feel void if they change anything about their bills and their comfortable way of life that they cannot afford – but do it anyways. 

Money and bills are not to buy happiness. Money and bills ensure comfortable survival when managed wisely, responsibly, and maturely. Stress-free budgets that are paid without worries are alot better than grumbling at old broken cycles without solutions.
The basic elements of communication should be acquired at the most affordable prices we can comfortably live within of our budgets. When we create our bills, manage our budgets, or spend our money as an emotional fill than we are creating an emotional void with others. 

This emotional void from others will come from borrowing from them, over and over, because we fail to analyze what is need and want and how this affects what we spend money on and how we pay our bills. 

The best money lessons I learned in life; were to never depend on others to borrow from and to never be the lender without a true emergency. The stresses I placed on others and they placed on me in bad money mistakes, were not fair to anyone when it was done without a true emergency. When we fail to teach money control, then money will teach resentment, anger, stress, worry, and sadness instead. We need to teach healthy financial independence and not unhealthy financial dependency.

Every person has a relationship or affiliation with money based upon their nature or nature of what they grew up in. That’s a money fact.
If you were raised by a mathematician or an excellent role model of the logical and rational ways to spend and budget money; than chances are good that you will be mature and responsible with your money.

If a person was raised in poverty and sought to find loopholes in system programs to get free stuff and produce waste by not managing the money they have; than they will tend to follow the damaging trends of money they were raised in.

But when we become adults, it is our responsibility to ensure that we learn new skills to help us manage our money wiser than those before us. It is our responsibility to lead by example and teach these skills to others. 

Money is a tool of survival that is composed of numbers and math. Money is not an emotional fill or an emotional element. We should never make it as such either. 

Wirefly teaches us how to evaluate our cell phone minutes, internet, and text usage to shop wisely for the quality bargain we need to have a cell phone plan we can afford. Their tool is simple and easy to use. Input the talk, data, and text you need. It finds rates to help you choose the options that fit your budget. 

Try this and be honest when you do. Do you really need a $200 monthly cell phone plan to carry the latest iPhone or will your mobile needs be met with a $50-75 monthly plan instead?

What if you have a contract that has a cancellation fee? Many are intimidated by contracts. Most will never do the math of the costs of keeping a contract and what it can save them by cancelling early. 

If money is the problem, do the math. That’s how to solve the problem.
Money, math, and numbers should never become an emotional element. 

When emotions increase to rise above the level of logic and rational thinking; we allow ourselves to become manipulated by money and we deprive our self from controlling money. Logic and rational thinking is the only true stress-free way to manage money, control budgets, and to comfortably live within the income we have; and not compete in a lifestyle we cannot afford.