Budgets Are Better At Diagnosing Financial Problems Than At Solving Them
Everyone, up to and including the hosts of the No Stupid Questions podcast, which is part of the Freakonomics network, seems to be bandying around the phrase “toxic positivity” these days, but the problem isn’t the people who always seem to remain optimistic in the face of their own problems. The people who respond with platitudes when you tell them your terrible news aren’t really the problem, either; they just don’t know what to say and think that saying something that sounds like it came from a Hallmark sympathy card is better than ignoring you. The real problem is the people who hubristically propose quick fixes to your serious problems. No matter your diagnosis, your neighbor Pollyanna can think of a food in the produce section that can cure it as effectively as the treatment your doctor prescribed. For your financial problems, unhelpful busybodies always seem to recommend that you make a budget. Anyone who thinks you can budget your way out of debt has never faced a quadruple digit surprise medical bill or a student loan balance that keeps getting bigger the more you pay. Budgeting may not be able to get you out of debt, but a Plantation debt lawyer can.
When Making a Budget and Sticking to It Does Not Get You Out of Debt
In a recent article on Kiplinger, financial planner Matt Goren argues that budgeting is not a panacea for debt. Making a budget means retroactively tracking your income and expenses for the preceding month. It differs from a spending plan when, based on your known monthly income, you decide how much to spend on what. More than half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and when we make a budget, it only shows us that our income is not high enough to make a meaningful spending plan; there simply isn’t enough surplus income, after paying for recurring expenses, to pay anything beyond the minimum payments on our debts.
Your depressing budget can be an important first step, but it does not get you out of debt. If possible, you can reduce some of your recurring expenses, but this requires some effort. For example, you can save money on rent by moving into your parents’ house or moving in with a roommate and use the money you save toward paying off your debts. If you are young and healthy, you can take on additional gig work. That isn’t an option for everyone, though. You might need bankruptcy protection, debt consolidation, or debt settlement, and a debt lawyer can help you with these. A lawyer can help you find a practical solution to your debt problems.
Budgets Are Just the Beginning
Most people who are struggling with debt do not spend excessively on things they do not need; it is hardships outside their control that have caused their debts to pile up. A debt lawyer can help you strategize your way out of debt. Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Plantation, Florida to discuss your case.