Are you struggling to make ends meet? Unfortunately, you are not the only one. According to the latest FINRA Investor Education Foundation report, 52% of Americans are struggling with the same task – making ends meet. Moreover, the Financial Capability in the United States report surveyed 25,000 American adults about their “financial capability.”
The truth is people who are struggling to make ends meet don’t have good money habits. Typically, financial irresponsibility negatively affects a person’s life. Significant debt, physical stress, relationship problems are among some of the adverse effects of financial irresponsibility. Also, the causes of this can be poor lending and spending habits.
For instance, many people feel obliged to loan money out to friends and family. On the other hand, paying bills late, spending money on things you can’t afford, or on things that are not necessary to show you are financially irresponsible. In short, poor financial decisions can affect your entire life.
Luckily, you can change your habits. It won’t be easy, but it is worth it. Also, the first step you have to make is to identify the habits you want to change. Do you want to know if you are a financially responsible person? Well, the following five signs will help you determine that.
Student loans, car loans, personal loans, and mortgages are amongst the most common debt sources. And as surprising as it may sound, the average individual debt exceeds $38,000. Moreover, according to the Northwestern Mutual, Americans tend to owe up to $25,000 than have the same amount of money in savings. Furthermore, having debt leads to stress and, in some cases, it can lead to serious medical problems. After all, it’s hard not to worry about how you’re going to pay off your debt.
How to Change This Habit? First, pay off your debt. You may want to start with the highest interest rate while you keep paying minimums on the others. Second, you have to take a look at your monthly bills and expenses. Figure out what’s necessary and which things you can stop buying or using.
Nowadays, a lot of people are finding themselves behind on their bills. Maybe they didn’t have enough money to pay them, or perhaps they have completely forgotten about the bills. However, in the end, the bill goes unpaid. Well, bills are a normal part of our lives. In other words, we have to pay them because let’s be honest, nobody wants to be left without electricity, right? So, if you want to avoid this or to deal with a debt collector, then you should make sure you pay your bills on time.
How to Change This Habit? Enter the deadline for payment or the periods in which you need to pay off specific bills in your notebook or the calendar on your phone. Also, you can set reminders, which have proven to be quite useful.
Credit Card Debt
Almost every person today has a credit or a debit card, and why wouldn’t they? Credit cards do come with a lot of advantages besides being one of the most convenient methods of making payments. If you are short on cash and you need to make a purchase, having a credit card in your wallet or purse will help you make the purchase. However, unless you are using the credit card wisely, you might end up owning the bank a lot of money. Typically, credit cards are a lousy spender’s worst enemy. Although credit cards are rewarding, you have to be financially responsible for using one.
How to Change This Habit? Pay off your credit card bill on time. Trust e, making the last payment will be a huge relief. Also, stop using your card at an ATM and take time to understand how you can profit off of using your credit card. For instance, you get reward points for specific kinds of purchases and spendings.
Lack of a Budget Plan
Are you living paycheck to paycheck? This habit is typical for financially irresponsible people. Not only this, but they usually believe creating a budget plan will be an annoying process. Well, I hate to break it to you, but that is not the case. Budgeting takes only a few hours each month, yet, it can be so helpful for people who are bad with money. Moreover, without appropriate budgeting, spending habits can hurt your financial success. So, if you want to keep your money in check, you need a budget plan.
How to Change This Habit? Create a spending and a budget management plan. Follow it strictly! By doing so, you will be able to get an accurate picture of your financial situation. Moreover, a budget plan will help you track your spending as well as income.
Recurring Monthly Bills
Do you pay for extra telephone features, streaming packages, club memberships, magazine subscriptions, or other online subscriptions? Well, in most cases, recurring subscription plans are expensive. As such, they can dry your bank account. Not only that but often people don’t use them. For instance, do you read the magazine you have subscribed to, or are there any that remain unread? Further, do you use the app you pay for?
How to Change This Habit? Begin by identifying all recurring monthly expenses, as this can help you plan your spending. Decide which ones you don’t need and cancel the subscription.
Do you see yourself as a financially responsible person? Even if you don’t, don’t worry. It’s never too late to change your habits. The essential question you need to ask yourself is: Do I want to become more financially responsible and competent?
You have to keep in mind that being good with money takes practice. Of course, in the beginning, it would be difficult. For instance, you might find it difficult to plan and to follow the plan. Moreover, putting off purchases until you can afford them is also challenging when you are used to using that credit card. Typically, the more you make these habits part of your life, the sooner you will see a change in your financial situation.