Life can seem like it’s under control but for many people, managing finances is an ongoing issue that can affect everyday life. Even if you have good intentions, it’s easy to fall into a bad cycle and end up with no money at the end of each month.
Financial expert Credit Counsellors Australia has compiled a list of 10 signs you might be having (or are on your way to having) money problems to help you in finding finanial freedom and living debt-free. Check out our list below and see if any sound like you:
1. You spend more on takeaway and dining out than you do on your weekly grocery spend. Don’t fret, this is a weakness most people fall victim to especially if you work long hours and have duties around the home to attend to. Think about how much money you may save if you make the simple switch from takeaways to home cooking.
2. You buy high-tech gadgets...when you don’t actually need them. The latest smartphone or appliance may lift your spirits in the short-term but it usually never results in long-lasting happiness as a newer model is always just around the corner, and the cycle repeats itself. Consider living a simpler life and boycotting technology for a short period of time each week to lower your dependency on these items.
3. You’ve got clothes or shoes in the wardrobe that still have their tags on them. Addiction to retail therapy comes at an almighty cost, particularly if you are not keeping track of the volume of spending on credit and debit cards. Repayments can incur interest payments and late fees, which may hinder your long-term chances of home and loan investments.
4. You can’t go to the shops without buying something. It’s not an easy feat to just exert control whenever you feel the need to shop, however you may quell the desire by taking up a new hobby or pastime that doesn’t cost anything at all. Try sports or leisure activities that reward with health and wellness benefits that can also distract from visiting shopping arcades.
5. You use credit cards for rewards points...and you don’t always pay it off each month. Keep on top of payments or your credit score may take a turn for the worse – without you even realising it! Credit cards are there for emergency reasons above all else, so aim to pay off outstanding bills to keep a clean slate.
6. You’re enticed to buy things on the TV Shopping Network. Get out of the house or make a stand to not watch TV, even if you hear it calling out your name! Try to remind yourself that such channels are contributing to your lack of financial freedom and that it’s time to break free of the habit.
7. You don’t make extra repayments. Just toeing the line when it comes to paying off debt is just half a step forwward from not meeting a financial obligation at all. Debt creeps up without warning, more so when all you are paying off is interest or the minimum amount required. Think about limiting the volume of repayments by adjusting the rate at which you make them and the contributions you make.
8. You borrow more than you need. Work backwards and ask yourself why you are borrowing the money in the first place. If you know the cost of the product or investment needed, then aim to stick as close to this amount as possible and avoid requesting extra funds for additional spending, as this is more than likely an unnecessary expenditure.
9. You use a credit card to pay a bill. Try switching to a current account to eliminate the potential credit and interest buld-up over time. Getting into the habit of paying bills directly from your savings account may serve to help you money worries long-term.
10. You don’t know how much money you spend. Speak to a financial advisor, or even ask a friend or family member to work with you on creating a budget planner. Failing to understand your outgoings is a slippery slope to financial hardship.
You don’t have to work in a bank to be good with money and now with debt advice readily available online, you don’t need to pay the earth to get good, honest information to help you improve your own circumstances.