Signs You Might Be Living Paycheck to Paycheck
Do you ever feel as though money is leaving your account at the same rate it is entering it?
When you rely solely on paycheck to paycheck, you are frequently pressed for cash or risk running out of funds before the end of the month. Because you feel like you never have quite enough money to pay all of your bills and purchase the items you need or want each month, it can be stressful. It is nearly impossible to advance financially if you live paycheck to paycheck. You frequently find yourself overspending and accumulating more debt each month.
There are some indications that this may be the case for you if you feel like you're living paycheck to paycheck.
Let’s take a look at these signs you should avoid:
Sign #1: You Do Not have a Budget
Have you calculated how much you can budget for essentials like food, utility bills, transportation, and clothing while still managing to save money for future needs like emergencies or big purchases? If you don't have a financial plan, you really have no way to increase your wealth or ensure that you stay free of bad debt.
Going over budget or having to pay a subscription fee for the free trial you forgot to cancel are just two examples of what can happen when you don't plan ahead. Whether it's planning for retirement or making your own lunch, planning can empower you and your finances.
Setting up a reasonable budget is one thing, but without a system in place to keep it up, you're doomed to failure. It's critical to consider how your budget actually works. You can keep track of what you can afford and what you can't stretch your budget for by converting money into items.
Sign #2: You Are Using Your Credit Card Aimlessly and Paying Only the Minimum
Paying with a plastic card makes it simple to forget about the money required to pay your credit card bill each month. The practice of treating your credit card like a bank account is a common money mistake. Savings are a resource you can use until they run out, whereas a credit card gives you access to a line of credit that could become a liability if you don't pay the balance in full.
You'll probably never be able to pay off your credit card debt if you only make the minimum payment each month. Try to pay off your credit card in full each month because failing to do so could have an impact on the interest rates you are offered on future loans or even disqualify you altogether from receiving a line of credit. It might be a good idea to adopt a cash-only financial policy if using your credit card makes it difficult for you to stay within your spending limit.
Sign #3: You Are Spending A lot on Low Value Items
Money management includes figuring out how to use your income as effectively as possible. While it's natural to assume that improving your finances entails adhering to strict budgets, doing so doesn't require you to stop purchasing non-essentials altogether. Instead, you just need to make sure you're avoiding mindless, frivolous spending so you have money for purchases you actually need.
Of course, not every purchase needs to have a purpose, but it can be easy to make impulsive purchases out of desire for immediate gratification that you won't even remember in a few days. Before you know it, you won't have enough money left over to spend on the experiences and things you truly value.
Sign #4: You Are “Keeping Up With the Joneses”
It's easy to observe others' extravagant lifestyles and desire the same luxuries for yourself, but that doesn't mean you should act rich before you have the resources to support it.
No matter how wealthy or successful you are, there will always be someone with a more up-to-date device, a tricked-out vehicle, or a slightly larger home. Such is life. When you find yourself unable to pay the auto loan for the new sports car you have sitting on the curb, trying to keep up with the Joneses will only have a negative impact on your bank account.
Sign #5: You Do Not Think Like an Investor
An investor would take as much money as possible and invest it in his financial future, making his money work for him, as opposed to just budgeting for needs and wants. An investor would not have their money sitting in a low-interest savings account. An investor would prioritize increasing their wealth by investing.
By setting aside some money to invest, you can help yourself achieve long-term financial stability while also kicking some bad spending habits that come with viewing your income as entirely yours to use in the "now."
I hope this information was helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. I’d be happy to chat with you.
About the Author
Renee helps clients make sound financial decisions in her role as a Financial Planner at Vincere Wealth. Having a trusted advisor steer you toward wise choices now can have a major impact on your financial future. Renee is especially proud of her work educating and empowering women in the areas of personal finance, budgeting, and debt management.
If you're interested in an investment advisory or financial planning relationship, please consider Vincere Wealth Management.
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