Is it just me, or does that really high credit card bill all of a sudden hang around your place like a dark cloud? You can see it on the table and it constantly reminds you of all those bagels and coffee drinks. But don't feel too bad - you weren't the only one who said "yes" to those extra charges. A lot of people make those mistakes and end up paying for them long after the items are forgotten. Here's how you can start saving money:
1). Higher Debt Level
Your debt level should not be higher than 30% of your income (all debts included). If it is, then this means that you either spend too much money on useless things or that interest rates for your loans are way too high, which would mean that you never get out of debt again. You could also have taken out loans to start up a business which did not work out at all, resulting in never ending loan repayments with huge interests to pay back - if this is the case, take immediate action! Get rid of all unnecessary things in your life and reduce spending to a minimum. If you still have not been able to get out of debt, consult an accountant who will advise you on how to do so.
2). Too Little Savings for Retirement
Retirement is an essential part of life because it means that you will be able to live comfortably without having to work anymore but how can you do that if there's no money saved up? People often spend all their savings before they actually retire, which forces them to either rely on state pension or take out a loan at very high interest rates - neither of these two possibilities is ideal. The solution? Save up for retirement! And make sure you save enough to live comfortably when retired, not just barely survive.
3). No Emergency Fund
Having an emergency fund is essential in case of unexpected expenses such as car repairs or medical bills. It's even more important to have one when you're single because in this situation, there is no other way out than taking out a loan which comes with very high rates and fees compared to bank loans. Having an emergency fund prevents you from getting trapped into this kind of debt so build your own savings account and contribute 10% of your income/monthly salary automatically!
Cut off unnecessary spending to pay credit card bills. Groceries and utilities are sometimes our biggest expenses every month. Program two weeks worth of meals in advance and get ready to shop around - it's surprising how much food we buy that ends up rotten before we get the chance to eat it all. Also, check out what time of day your utility charges peak and adjust your power use accordingly so you won't have to shell out hundreds in energy bills every month!
4). Bad Credit Score
There are many reasons why your credit score might be bad - too much debt, too little disposable income, lack of savings... If it's the last one, then there's nothing really wrong with that but if it's about too much debt or too low disposable income, then you actually stand the risk of losing your home (if you already own one) or even getting your salary garnished by creditors if nothing is done about it.
Don't make impulse buys on items you don't need. New clothes, cool electronics and other stuff that gives a temporary high is usually more expensive than it's worth. Try to restrain yourself from buying things when your mind starts imagining how much fun you will have with them - when in reality, it won't be much.
5). Low Discretionary Income Level
You should be able to save at least 10% of your income (20% would actually be much better) in order to feel mentally safe and secure - if this is not the case, then you can easily become frustrated with life which lowers your self confidence considerably over time; the more you save, the safer you will feel and the higher your level of security. On top of that, saving money also improves your financial situation! Best advice: increase savings rate until reaching at least 10%.
6). Poor Financial Knowledge
If you don't understand finance at all (like most people), then it becomes very difficult to react appropriately in the future. For example, you might have heard that interest rates are getting higher and higher these days - if this happens, you will not have any idea what to do with your money which means that all your savings could start shrinking instead of growing over time. The best approach here is probably to educate yourself on finance through some form of study or public lectures - make sure you never stop learning about financial topics!
7). Bad Spending Habits
A problem many people face is spending too much money at once without thinking twice about it. Homeowners who spend their whole savings for a new car or Christmas presents fall into this category because they end up indebted afterwards - people usually don't realise that these things were not worth it and they can actually live without them. The solution? Think twice before making a purchase - if you will regret buying something, then don't do it!
8). Non-Existent Savings for Major Life Events
It's important to think about future life events such as buying a home, paying for education or starting a family in advance - if you don't save enough money in the right moment, then it could end up being an expensive problem (e.g. having to borrow money at high interest rates). The solution? Try to save up at least 6 months worth of net income for these kinds of situations because when they happen, you will be under much higher stress/pressure which makes it harder to make rational decisions; therefore it might appear like there are no other alternatives than taking out large loans!
9). Hidden Costs
Make sure you're not getting ripped off by hidden fees. Your bank might charge you additional fees for transferring money to another account, so find out what the rules are before you go ahead and do it! You'll also want to double-check your credit card company's policies every few months, since they tend to change without much warning.
10). Lack of Negotiating a Term Loan
Negotiate with lenders whenever possible. Even if it seems like a large sum of money, remember that the amount is actually just an accumulation of thousands of dollars over years. Try negotiating with them or just ask for better terms - there's no harm in asking, right?
Conclusion: Improve your financial situation by saving more money, spending less and educating yourself on finance!