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At some point or another, most people find it hard getting ahead each month on bills. Debts that pile up and paychecks that don’t stretch as far as they used to can leave you feeling drained, hopeless, and scared for your financial future. There are ways to navigate your financial issues and come out with a clear budget and a plan for your money. Check out these common money mistakes that we have all made and the following tips on how to avoid them in your finances:
Sometimes it can be hard to pay your bills on time, especially if an unexpected emergency comes up that you haven’t planned for properly. Avoid the temptation to pay late and then rack up fees by considering small loans to help you get back on track. By combining several bills into one payment that you can incrementally pay on, you avoid more late fees on top of the late fees you have already accrued.
What’s the Point of Saving?
When you are working paycheck to paycheck, saving often feels like a non-starter. Many families have said that they would like to save, but they don’t know how to start with tight finances. Fortunately, several options exist. It can be hard to imagine saving with the income where it is, but there are many tricks to finding money in the paycheck without needing a raise. Set up your bank accounts so money is automatically drafted from your checking into your savings. Then, the trick is to pretend it’s not even there. You’ll notice the numbers growing in no time.
Consumer Debt Kills
As attractive as credit cards can be, especially in lean times, they can also cause quite a headache later when you are trying to pay them off. First and foremost, credit cards aren’t inherently bad. They can present quite the temptation, however, for any time you don’t have cash for that small purchase at the grocery store. If possible, try not to invest in any credit cards at all. Limit what you use credit cards for and pay them off at the end of every month. If you can’t do that, then you can’t afford a credit card. Finally, if you find yourself with several maxed-out credit cards, set a plan in place that you can follow to pay them off logically and swiftly.
Some obvious luxuries in your monthly budget can be salon appointments, car detailing or date nights out on the town. Some less obvious luxuries still exist, because they are attached to necessities. Groceries are one example. It is easy to justify paying for food because it is essential to survival. However, if you take stock of your food budget (which you should have), then you may find several ways to save like buying generic brands, buying in bulk or through a co-op, and cutting down on niche food products.
Make a Budget, and Stick to it This Time!
Have you ever spent a considerable amount of time creating a budget and then blowing it within the first week of the month? In order to avoid this becoming a cycle in your life, you need to create a budget and stick to it. If you can’t do this on your own, find a trusted financial advisor to help you with a reality check into what’s not sticking to your budget will cost you in the long run.
Avoid these common mistakes and replace bad habits with good ones to find your way to financial stability and a healthy, debt-free future.