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When expenses are tight, any unexpected cost can make an already difficult situation way more challenging, especially if you haven’t been able to save for an emergency fund. Here are steps you can take now to free up some funds and help you live within your means.

  1. Create—or recommit to—a realistic budget. Take a look at your spending habits to see if you can reduce or eliminate anything. Your goal is to cover your bills, but allow for some savings and fun money each month. Follow your new budget closely for several months, then decide if you need to tweak any areas.
  2. Pay yourself first. After bills are paid, it’s important to put money into a savings account, even if it’s a small amount. Having an emergency fund can help protect you the next time the unexpected happens, especially if it’s something more serious like a job loss.
  3. Create a plan of attack against debt. If you’re like most people, you probably don’t remember what the interest rates are on your credit cards and loans. Check them out and set up a pay-down plan. Make at least your minimum payments, but add more money toward the debt with the highest rate. When that’s paid off, add that payment amount to the debt with the next highest rate, and don’t add more loans or cards. Pretty soon, you’ll have more room in your budget and you’ll be on your way to living within your means.

We Can Help You Stay in Control

Do you want more help in making wise money management moves? Navy Federal Credit Union has services and products to guide you. We offer ways to help you consolidate debt, build your savings and help give you better control over your future finances.

This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.