Have you ever taken $20 out of the ATM in the morning and at the end of the day had zero cash left in your wallet? Maybe you constantly find yourself asking where did my money go? Have you ever just got paid and three days later logged in to your online banking to find next to no money in your account? I know I have, or at least I used to.
When I was having money troubles I just couldn’t understand why I was broke all time. I would get paid and couldn’t afford to pay both my rent and my cable bill. It was weird because I was working full time at a bank making good money, but it just wasn’t enough. Or at least I thought it wasn’t.
You live beyond your means
This was the major reason why I ended up in tens of thousands of dollars of debt. I bought things I thought I should have – like a brand new car and I did things because other’s were doing them – like eating at the newest, trendiest restaurants – and I did them all on credit because I couldn’t actually afford to do any of it. Bad habits.
It took me a long time to realize that expensive meals, extravagant vacations and lots of clothes don’t make me happy. I learned to stop spending on things that don’t matter and start saving for the things that do like retirement.
Paying all your bills at once
I was always taught never to have late bills so when I got my credit card, hydro and cable bills in the mail each month I would immediately pay them in full. Big mistake.
Since monthly bills usually all come at the same time – at the end of the month this left me with a ton of expenses to pay and very little money to do it with. I would use my entire pay check to pay bills and then leave myself nothing to live. So of course I ended up using my credit cards to live until my next paycheck. Terrible cycle.
Now I split the total of my monthly bills in half and pay each portion over two paychecks. My bills are still paid on time but I’m not shelling out large chunks of cash each month. It’s perfect.
Spending on wants not needs
This is one of the worst things you can do for your money. Spending on things you want but don’t need is O.K. sometimes. It’s O.K. when you have a little extra money to spend, it’s O.K. if all your other bills are paid and it’s O.K. if you give yourself a spending limit like $40.
Spending on wants is not O.K. if you’re going to use your credit card to do so, if the item won’t actually make you happy and if you’re only doing it just to spend money.
I’m glad that I no longer make these money mistakes because my finances are better for it.
Originally published on Blonde & Balanced
Photo from I’d Pin That