Eight Bad Financial Habits You Can Change for Financial Literacy Month.
Bad financial habits seem to plague many consumers and in a lot of ways are the reasons why people fall behind in paying their bills and develop debt loads. Since April was Financial Literacy Month, National Debt Relief took the opportunity to publish an article to help consumers understand some of their bad financial habits that can ruin their financial health. These “8 Bad Habits You Can Change for Financial Literacy Month”, as the title suggest, are eight bad financial habits that consumers have, which if changed can put them on track to better financial health.
The article starts out by pointing out how the financial literacy month is the perfect time for consumers to look at how they manage their money and make some changes that would benefit their finances with the goal being to put themselves on the right track towards financial health.
Here are the eight bad financial habits and ways to change them.
Spending more than you earn is a bad financial habit
One of the most common problems consumers have is spending more money than what they make. The article cites a study by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, titled Financial Capability in the United States 2016. It showed that in 2015, 56% of people surveyed, spent more than they earned.
Overcoming this bad habit lies in the use of a budget that keeps your spending below your earnings, and you must stick to it. You can get budget software that incorporates pictures of envelopes for each expense, at Snowmint Creative Solutions. The budget is based on envelope method of budgeting. It is a much easier way to see where your money is, where it is needed and where it went.
Have More respect for your Credit Card.
One thing that people can do is to start treating their credit cards with more respect. The article points out that a lot of consumers treat their credit cards as if they have free money. It is all too easy to say “I’ll pay now with a card and worry about it later.” But this line of thinking had led to millions of Americans to rack up thousands of dollars in debt on multiple credit cards. If you must use your credit card, make sure to pay off the balance at the end of each month.
Don’t ignore your bills and monthly statements
Another bad financial habit that consumers should change is ignoring their bills and monthly statements. There are many reasons why people would ignore them. For example, the fear of seeing how much they owe, or because they feel they already know how much it is. But ignoring them won’t make them go away. It is better to review your monthly statement and dispose of them properly to avoid any chance of identity theft. BillTracker by SnapTap is a simple bill reminder application that shows you when payments are due, so you can stay on top of things and avoid late fees.
Not having a savings account is a bad idea
Not putting money aside in a savings account, is another bad financial habit that consumers need to change. A savings account is essential not only for use in case of an emergency but also for building your future. You should treat your savings account equally important as paying your bills. Even if you can’t save large amounts, small amounts will add up over time.
Paying the minimum amount due on credit cards.
Do not make the minimum monthly payments on your credit cards. If you do, you’re only giving yourself temporary relief, while at the same time, committing to paying more in interest charges later. It will take you much longer to pay down your debt, you will rack up bigger interest charges, and your credit score could take a hit. Credit.com has a simple calculator that will tell you how long it will take to pay off your credit cards. You can try adding $20 or $40 to the monthly minimum, and you’ll see the payoff time gets reduced.
Impulsive shopping contributes to excessive spending
I am sure we have all been guilty, at lease once, of purchasing something on the fly, for no other reason than we had to have it. Impulse buying doesn’t mean the end of your financial stability if you’ve only done it a few times, but making a habit of it is a problem. In fact, buying without thinking can quickly lead to overspending.
Stores appeal to your impulsive buying habits by displaying their cheap, miscellaneous items such as candy, gum, etc., near the checkout registers. Because, they know that shoppers must wait in line, often for long periods. But the way to avoid impulse buying is, no matter where you shop, make a list and stick to it.
Do not ignore the value of coupons
More and more people are using coupons these days for record savings. Coupons are widely available and very easy to obtain. No longer do you have to spend hours clipping coupons from the newspaper. There are many coupon websites available, many with printable coupons. But now getting coupons have become easier with RetailMeNot, where you can simply go to a store, find one for that store, and the cashier can scan the coupon right off your phone. So, if you have not been in the habit of using coupons now may be the time to start. Using coupons may save you a little with each purchase, but a lot of time.
Using credit cards to earn rewards points
Using credit cards to earn reward points is the last bad financial habit the article says. Credit card companies are not giving you anything for free. You pay for them in other ways such as, with higher interest rates or through interest payments if you are not paying your balance every month. If you read the fine print, you may find that the points expire at some point or that you don’t earn them on every purchase. So, if you are receiving rewards points, you are likely paying for them in some way.
The article ended by exhorting consumers that it is not too late to evaluate your bad financial habits and begin making responsible decisions. Even small changes can add up and make a huge difference in helping you regain control of your financial situation.
If you are struggling under a mountain of debt, you can seek advice from debt relief professionals who can guide you through the process of consolidating all or some of your loans or credit card debts into one low monthly payment. You can get out of debt quicker, pay less in interest, and pay lower monthly payments. Now what you need to understand is that there is no magical quick fix when it comes to consolidating your debt. But before you enroll in a Debt Relief program, here are three things to consider:
- Debt relief is not a do-it-yourself project. It takes a professional. Not hiring a professional can end up costing you much more in the end.
- Debt Relief will lower your monthly payments, but it is important that when you enroll with a Debt Relief Company that you choose a payment that is affordable and that you can stick with, as that will be your payment for the next 3-5 years.
- Always make sure to hire a company that does not charge Upfront Fees.
If you want to find out if you qualify for debt relief, click the following button for a free phone consultation.