If you’re like a lot of people, you find yourself living paycheck to paycheck and running out of money soon after getting paid. It seems like your financial debt situation is a virtual quicksand where you can’t seem to get out.
The good news is that our finances is one of the things in life that we can change. No, it may not be easy, but it can be done.
But ever wonder why you can’t seem to get out of the rut? Ever think it’s something you’re doing, how you are living, or maybe even something you aren’t doing but should be?
To make a real self-examination of your money, you need to be honest with yourself and see where you are going wrong. Remind yourself that your current financial debt situation is only temporary and you can start to make improvements at any time. It’s never too late to start.
If you are struggling every single month, here are some of the reasons why you are “broke” and it’s time you own it so you can finally change things.
1. You spend more money than you make
You make so much per month, but you are spending way more than that through your credit cards or other courses of credit. It’s a slippery slope because once you are behind you need to work twice as hard to recover from it. Month after month of this and you can be in serious trouble.
2. You think a “budget” is something bad
The word “budget” instantly gives you anxiety because you view it as meaning you have zero freedom and that you can’t spend anything.
3. You’ve never made a budget
Creating a budget helps you see what money you have, what you can spend and where your money goes. Without it, you are just spending freely, and often end up spending everything you have.
4. You don’t stick to your budget
You may have drawn up a budget but you don’t follow it. You spend freely with little to no consideration for keeping a plan to control your spending and therefore have no money.
5. You can’t determine “wants” from “needs”
You need food, but you want to eat out. You need shelter, but you want your overpriced condo. Knowing what is truly a need versus a want is a huge piece of the puzzle. Once you are able to determine the difference between the two, you will be better able to make decisions about your spending.
6. You feel you need to have what everyone else has
Just because someone you know got a new car, you feel you need to go and get one. Everyone has different expenses, so just because it may be in their budget, doesn’t mean it is in yours.
Related post: How to Simplify Your Life
7. Your housing costs too much
As a rule of thumb, your housing should cost about 20% of your income. If it costs more than that, you are living above your means and possibly leaving yourself short for other things.
8. Your cell phone costs too much
We all have them, but is yours costing too much? Do your research and find a plan with a provider that cuts your bill down.
9. You pay too much for cable
Monthly cable bills can cost upwards of $300 depending on the packages you have. You can opt for other methods of entertainment like Netflix, Crave or a reduced cable package.
10. Your car is too expensive
If your car payment is too high, it might be time to opt for a cheaper vehicle. Don’t forget that there are other costs associated with having a car like insurance, repairs, gas and maintenance that can drive up the expense of having one.
Related post: Things You Are Doing That Are Making You Broke
11. You don’t realize that little amounts add up
Spending $1.50 on coffee here, $2.00 for a muffin there, $1 for a pack of gum all adds up. If you are doing that frequently, you’re spending a lot more money than you even realize.
Same goes for savings… $20 here and there can add up quickly. Just saving even $3.50 a day adds up to over $1200 a year!
Related post: 8 Smart Strategies So You Can Save More Money
12. You have no idea where your money is going
If you run out of money before your next pay comes and you have no idea what you bought or spent your money on, you need to get things in order.
13. You make excuses for why you have no money
Blaming someone else, or some other event/situation as to why you don’t have any money is futile. Start with yourself. You control your money, and if you don’t, you need to start.
14. You don’t want to make any sacrifices
Sometimes you have to go without things you really want in order to have or do something else. If you aren’t willing to go without something, you need to learn how to start. No one can have it all, all the time.
15. You’re a major impulse buyer
Whether it’s shopping for groceries on an empty stomach or the manner of seeing something you “must have” and buying it, you should learn to wait on making purchases. Buying things on impulse often result in us not needing what we actually bought. Take time to mull over whether you really need it by taking 24 hours to decide.
16. Your available credit is not extra income
Spending money on credit is not like having available money in the bank. Learn to treat credit like what it is… a loan that you have to pay back. Decide whether a purchase is worth having to pay it back.
17. You haven’t made any goals
“A goal without a plan is just a dream.” Everyone needs goals. If you make it a goal to save money and work out a budget to do it, you will work towards it.
18. You hang out with the wrong crowd
Whether you are hanging with friends who can afford more than you, or ones that are just as broke as you can be problematic especially if they directly or indirectly put pressure on you to spend money, or more than you can afford. Learn to say no, or be upfront about your finances with friends. True friends won’t push you beyond your means.
19. You have bad habits
Who doesn’t have a bad habit or two, but let’s face it, some habits can drain our wallets. Things like smoking, drinking or drugs can wreak havoc on your finances, especially if they are out of control. Take an honest look at yourself. Do you have habits that are putting a financial strain on your bank account? Might be time to stop.
20. You think you have lots of time to save
Waiting for “later” to save is like waiting for the perfect time to do other things. The perfect time never comes, you just have to start somewhere.
21. Blaming someone else is more important than finding a solution
It’s easy to blame someone else for your financial situation, but why not expend that energy on finding a way to improve your situation?
22. You believe you have lots of time to pay off your debt
No one can predict the future to see what may happen. Sure, you have full time employment at the moment, but what if your company downsizes, you become temporarily ill, or some other reason that affects your ability to earn an income? What will you do?
23. You have trouble saying “no”
Who doesn’t love a social event whether it’s a dinner out, just a couple after work drinks, or even a ladies night that includes an at-home shopping party of some sort? It’s not easy to say no to things but you certainly don’t have to accept every invitation to go out or do things.
24. You’re a gift-giving guru
You love giving gifts and can think of any reason at all to give one. As we all know, everyone loves getting gifts, but you think everyone in your life should be getting gifts for every occasion and no one can afford that. After all, your “time” is the best gift of all.
25. You believe you deserve to splurge
You work hard for your money, so you think you should be rewarded for it. Keep in mind that not all rewards need to be bought. You can find things that are free.
Related post: 12 Ways to Save Money Every Day
26. You don’t pay yourself first
Make it a plan to put a percentage of each pay into a savings account. Not doing it right away risks the possibility of not doing it all and spending it elsewhere.
27. You’re stuck in debt quicksand
You juggle between payday loans, credit cards and make bad money decisions because you are stressed.
28. You think everyone has debt, so it’s no big deal
If you think you’ll always have debt of some sort, you likely will. Start thinking of it as something you have right now, but will work to pay it off.
29. You choose instant gratification over your future
Having something right now in the moment means more to you than taking actions that will before affect your future goals.
30. You’re trying to have it all (you want too many things all at once)
You want too many things all at once. Rather than budgeting for something to acquire over time, you’d want to purchase it all now, despite it leaving you short on money or having to put it on credit.
You’ve likely seen some reasons above that are your personal source of pain when it comes to your money management and spending habits. The first step to any problems like these are acknowledging that they ARE problems and the second step is making the decision to change things.
Trust me, I’ve had several of these issues myself and had to learn to make changes. If I can do it, so can you.
Did you find areas where you can improve?