Stepping into the world of adulthood might mean more freedom to make your own decisions without anyone stopping you. But along with this freedom comes some heavy responsibilities—especially when it comes to money. As adults, some common money issues that will inevitably come your way are dealing with paying taxes (and all the other problems associated with this), making sure to keep a good credit score, and planning out your income carefully to avoid being in the red.
But what if you couldn’t help falling into a tax pothole or accidentally went overboard with your credit? You’ll need to look for ways to solve one or the other or both. Below is some sound advice for how to get yourself out of that financial rut into which you’ve fallen:
Nothing Is Certain but Death and Taxes
Usually, when one talks of tax problems, if you don’t pay your taxes, you get put behind bars. But it’s not all that black and white. There might come a time in your life when the IRS will want to audit you for a myriad of different reasons. This could be because of unpaid taxes or unfiled tax returns, or a complicated tax situation the IRS wants a closer look at. Before you panic, take a deep breath and calm down. You aren’t the only one with tax problems, and professionals are waiting in the wings to help carry you through your tax issues.
If you are in a situation where you have to pay for a particular tax issue, look for professional tax resolution services to help you out with this. The people in this industry can help you negotiate with the IRS for a reduced tax debt or an affordable payment plan. They can also help you go over your finances to see the best option for you, along with reading the fine print on any contracts or negotiations to help make sure your interests are protected.
From Bad to Good Credit: How to Get There
Having bad credit is another metaphorical stone around your neck dragging you deeper into debt. According to Investopedia.com, a credit file applies to all Americans who have borrowed money or applied for a credit card. The file contains information on that individual’s current debt and if they pay their bills on time. Financial institutions use this information to calculate a person’s credit score, the most common of which is the FICO score. The FICO score ranges from 300 to 850, with anything below 579 considered “bad credit.” Having a bad credit score can hurt your loan’s chances of getting approved or obtaining additional credit cards.
Many Americans struggle with their bad credit, so don’t beat yourself up if you somehow got into this problem. However, don’t be complacent about this, and make an effort to improve your credit score moving forward. How?
- Utilize automatic payments for your bills.
- Work on slowly paying off your credit card debit.
- Check interest rates on your credit cards. Why? This is to prioritize the higher-interest debts first, and once that’s out of the way, you can then proceed to pay off the lower-interest debts.
An Ounce of Prevention
A lot of times, debt comes about from spending beyond one’s income. Making a well-thought-out budget and sticking to this every month is an excellent way to slowly but surely help you repay the outstanding debts you have. Here are some easy budgeting tips to get you started:
- Figure out your current financial status. Gather all the financial paperwork you have (bank statements, utility bills, credit card bills, etc.) to figure out where you stand financially.
- Create a list of all your monthly expenses. This goes from fixed expenses (bills, debt payment, insurance, etc.) to expenses that vary in cost (groceries, travel expenses, entertainment).
- Total your monthly income and expenses. If your income comes out higher than your expenses, then good. However, if you find yourself spending beyond what you earn, you will need to make adjustments as needed. Do not continue living beyond what you earn. This will continue to put you into more debt instead of helping you get out of it.
You can solve the common money problems listed in this post with careful budgeting, mindful spending, and expert advice from professionals in the field. Don’t expect a fast solution, though. It takes time, effort, and discipline to fix these money issues. Begin with the advice have set out for you, and you will slowly but surely get to the other side of your money problems.