Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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Are You Careless With Your Spending?

Having an “I don’t care” don’t care attitude about anything is dangerous. Being careless about your money is a severe threat to your security and freedom, now and in the future. No matter how much money you have, you can’t afford not to care about your spending. Are you spending carelessly? Here are a few signs.

Careless spenders don’t create or adhere to a budget and, subsequently waste a lot of money. Many people avoid budgeting because they see it as too restricting. A financially careless person can’t see the value of simple financial planning because they’d rather have the (perceived) freedom to spend as they want without having to consult anyone. What this type of person doesn’t realize is that spending carelessly makes you more prone to running out of money and actually limits your ability to spend as you want. Once you’re broke, you won’t be spending anything at all.

The frequency that you check your account balance can indicate how much you care about your money. A person who cares would monitor their accounts frequently versus never checking your account and spending anyway. You should check your accounts to be aware of your balance, to be sure that transactions were processed for the correct amount, and to verify that no fraud has occurred in your account. If you’re afraid to check your account because you don’t want to know how much money you’ve been spending, you should re-evaluate your spending habits.

You may not pay your bills on time, incurring late fees and possibly damaging your credit rating. Being late all the time gets expensive. Late fees range can be anywhere from a few dollars to more than a hundred dollars depending on which bill you’re paying late. Your utility company may only charge you a few dollars, but your landlord may charge $100 or more depending on the amount of your rent. That’s a huge price to pay when all you have to do is pay a few days earlier and avoid the fee.

Late payments can lead to bigger problems than fees. Your services may be disconnected and you may have to catch up on the entire balance before you can have the service restored. Or, you may face eviction, repossession, or foreclosure all because of being late. If you have the money to catch up on your payments, it may mean being late on something else.

You may have to borrow money from friends or family to make ends meet. While they may be happy to help you out of a bind once or twice, if it becomes a habit, your loved ones may become fed up with bailing you out. Eventually, they may spot your carelessness and stop lending to you all together. Worse, you could damage your relationships by borrowing money and never paying it back.

Financial carelessness now will haunt you later. When you run into an emergency and need access to lot of cash, you won’t have the savings to bail you out because you didn’t care enough to save. At some point in life, you’ll want to stop working. Delayed retirement is a direct consequence of blowing money in your younger years. It may be hard to imagine because it’s so far away, but being 70 and having to continue working isn’t the life you want to live. Being tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt can make life miserable and delay your bigger goals.

Some people have a careless attitude about money because they don’t want to be driven by money, but realize that you can care about your money without being driven by it. Someone who’s driven by money can make bad choices to get more money or to hold on to the money they already have. A healthy level of concern about your money means you’ll make good spending choices and refrain from wasting the money you have. You owe it to yourself and your future (and that of your family if you have one) to be more conscious of your money and make better decisions about your spending.
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Sunday, 20 October 2019

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