There is no doubt the financial choices you make today, and your common habits will affect the rest of your financial life. Let's face it; there are numerous traps that you can fall into and which will gobble large chunks of your income to leave you with nothing but frustrations and despair. Luckily, being good at managing your money is an art that you can master quickly. We will look at the common money mistakes to avoid and the critical financial skills to hone over time so that you build enviable financial stability:
Failure to make a monthly budget
A budget is a crucial tool for prudent financial spending. But many of us have ignored making one each time we receive an income. If you fail to make a budget for your monthly income, you will probably live beyond your means and quickly lose control of your finances. Although a little treat occasionally is okay, spending without a budget can lead to a lifestyle of luxuries which you won't afford in the long run. A budget will guide you on the essential things to spend your money on so that you avoid overspending on unnecessary things. A budget will also provide an ideal way to track how you spend your money each month to avoid habits that will drive you to poverty.
Being late on a payment
If you fall behind on your monthly bills and other financial obligations, you only succeed in building a massive debt cycle that will be hard to break. Late payments often result in added fees and penalties, which will further eat into your income. Besides, when you are late with your obligations, your credit score may be damaged, affecting your future finances. It is important, therefore, to ensure you settle all the essential bills such as car and house payments on time to avoid expensive debts and penalties.
Credit card overuse
Another expensive money mistake to avoid is the use of credit cards for everyday expenses as it creates a considerable amount of debt within a short span. Studies also show that when you pay by credit, you tend to spend more than necessary. Additionally, you won't track well your budgetary spending when you use a credit card more often. It is recommended to use the credit card only when it is essential. Importantly, when using a credit card, ensure you strictly align your spending to your budget to kick out a habit of living beyond your means.
Over borrowing money
Borrowing to fix an urgent need is okay, but over borrowing is not. When you incur too much debt, the risk of default increases, and if you had borrowed money from friends and family, and you fail to repay, it will definitely put a strain on your relationship. It is a good financial habit to borrow only the amount you can repay quickly and effortlessly.
Lack of financial goals
If you lack a solid financial plan, moving forward to reach your financial goals will be a mirage. A sound financial plan on target savings and investments per given period will help you ensure your spending matches your priorities. A good financial plan will also guide you on when to save, how much to save for investment, how much to save for retirement, and when you should start investing your money.
In a nutshell, if you are always broke, despite a decent income, chances are you are living beyond your means. It is time to step back and re-look at your recent financial decisions and habits. Do away with the mistakes we have discussed here to reach your financial goals faster.
If you are burdened with high amounts of credit card debt and are struggling to make your payments, or you’re just not seeing your balances go down, call Timberline Financial today for a free financial analysis.
Our team of highly skilled professionals will evaluate your current situation to see if you may qualify for one of our debt relief programs. You don’t have to struggle with high-interest credit card debt any longer.