At some point or another we’ve all done things that oh-let’s-say haven’t been the wisest things to do with our money and sometimes they may be things that we don’t realize right away are draining our finances. Better to know now though, right?
Every person should do an inventory on their spending and discover where it’s being spent. So if you are one of those people who never seems to have any money, or are just living paycheck to paycheck, here are some reasons why that may be happening. And the good news is that they can be remedied to get your money back on track.
Eating out too often
We’ve all been there, it’s been a busy evening and you forgot to make and pack a lunch for work the next day. Or maybe your friends called and now you’re heading out for a dinner and drinks. Ordinarily, this isn’t a big deal, but if you are suddenly eating out more than you are cooking at home, it’s a problem. The costs of eating out are enormous when compared to cooking meals at home. My husband and I try to limit eating out to once or twice a month. For us, this works because then it’s more of a “treat” and we don’t take it for granted like before. We actually worked it out a few times and calculated what we paid for several family meals (family of 4) versus what it cost to eat out and it’s ALWAYS cheaper to eat at home. A home-cooked meal for 4 people can cost as little as $15 if you shop sales, but just try to eat out for that amount.
Paying too much for your things
- Car – when you consider all the expenses associated with having a car like insurance, repairs, gas, and the payment itself, it’s a large monthly expense. Ask yourself if you really need the vehicle you have. Can you downsize?
- Cable – the cost of cable in most places is crazy. At one point, our cable bill was $300 when we added in the specialty channels and allowed the kids to rent on demand movies. $300 a month! That equals $3,600 a year.
- Cell phone – in Canada, we overpay for cell phone plans like crazy. Many plans can be upwards of $100 to $150 month. Contact the various suppliers and see if you can negotiate a better plan.
Allowing your emotions to control your spending
This is similar to people who emotionally “eat” as well. A bad day at work, a fight with a partner or friend, or some other reason and we’re heading to the mall or online store to make purchases to make us feel better. Doing this solves nothing and in fact, can give us other problems that will get us feeling down, especially if using credit to make such purchases. These may be purchases we wouldn’t normally make, but do because we feel we deserve it due to the way we feel.
Ignoring your debt
If you had a broken leg, would it heal if you just forgot about it? Of course it wouldn’t. Nor does debt go away if we just ignore it. Sit down and determine your total debt and make a plan to pay it off. Figure out ways to earn extra money if need be to pay down your debt.
Remember, being in debt is always our choice, but getting out of it is.
Refusing to make a budget
Ever notice how companies have a budget to follow? It’s so money can be kept under control and to hopefully prevent overspending. Working out a detailed monthly budget is essential to money management and controlling your spending. Feel free to grab my FREE printable budget and goal planning sheets.
Trying to keep up with others
I had a friend a few years back who always had to keep up with his friend who was quite wealthy. If the friend got a new cell phone, he had to get one. If he got a new car, he had to get one too. If the friend went on a vacation, he booked one too. The problem was that he couldn’t compete. He was going in debt to keep up with this other guy and he was running on a proverbial hamster wheel trying to keep up. Never mind what other people are affording or doing. Instead try to be content with what you have.
It’s never too late to revise your spending habits and make positive changes. Like I said before, if you are finding you are living paycheck to paycheck or even running out of money with days to go before your next pay, you’ll definitely want to have a look at things and reassess your finances.
I was in this situation and doing many, if not all, of the above things and actually created a financial planner so I could get things in order. If you’re ready to get serious about your own finances, feel free to check out my PRINTABLE FINANCIAL PLANNER (A4/Letter paper size or A5/Half Letter paper size) with 32 awesome pages for detailing everything from your budget to debt payment to a savings challenge and so much more.
Or grab my FREE Printable Budget/Goal/Planner sheets and get a start on making changes in your financial situation today.