Why do I feel so behind with my finances?

“My coworker just bought a new car.”
“My neighbor just added a new deck to their house.”
“My friends eat out every day and all weekend.”

Do any of these sound familiar to you? Comparing your lifestyle to that of your friends, family, and even strangers is unavoidable, unless you live under a rock! “Keeping up with the Joneses” can make you feel the need to upgrade your car, home, or vacation plans because of those comparisons.

Our BrightDime coaches understand how you feel. We’ve been there too. Upgrading things over time can be great, but it can also lead into spending more money than you earn. Over time, those small upgrades can pile up into big debt and a lot of financial stress. We’ve been there, too.

Use our budgeting tool to help you prevent spending more than you earn.

First track all you income: paychecks, cash you got from a side job, rent you receive from a rental property you own, interest earned on a savings account are all income. Some are steady and some is irregular, but you can still estimate it. Knowing your expected income is an important starting point for the spending decisions you make.

Then track all the money going out; monthly bill payments, charges on your credit card and venmo all count as spending. Start with your spending that’s automatic, steady or predictable: your Netflix subscription, gym membership, rent or mortgage. Then track your spending on more flexible things like groceries, gas, or eating out. And to the extent that you can, plan for things that might throw you off: car repairs, health care expenses and fees like bank charges, account fees and credit card interest.

Here’s one thing you can do to start getting ahead: keep trying to spend less than you make.

It sounds simple, but we understand it’s harder to do in reality, and can even be overwhelming. That’s why you have BrightDime! Putting your information in the budgeting tool is a great way to see where you can start taking action now. Once you have that information there, you can start a chat with a BrightDime coach to get some objective, expert tips. Let’s start getting ahead with your finances together, instead of always feeling behind!