Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
3 minutes reading time (623 words)

Identifying Reasons for Your Financial Struggle

People say that money isn’t everything, but somehow financial problems can affect your entire life. Financial difficulties can affect your work life, your home life, and your relationships. Money troubles can lead to depression, stress, and other health problems.

If you never get to the root of the issue, you may never fix the real problem and financial struggles can continue forever. That’s no way to live. Here are some possible reasons for your financial struggles.

You don’t know enough about personal finance. Unfortunately, most schools don’t teach the valuable lessons we need to know about personal finances. Many people don’t learn basic money management from their parents either. Without a solid foundation in personal finance, you’ll learn many of the lessons the hard way, unless you make it a point to learn from other sources.

There are many books, blogs, magazines, and other resources that teach about personal finance. If you’re struggling financially, educating yourself can help you get on track.

You’re spending too much money on housing or another area. With your paycheck, you’ll have to cover a number of expenses: housing, transportation, food, clothing, insurance, savings, and any debt you have. Depending on your personal or family situation, you may have even more than that. For many people, housing costs take up the bulk of the monthly income. The more you spend on housing – or any other expense – the less you have to spend on everything else. You’re more likely to have financial struggles if you spend too much money in one area.

You’re not budgeting. You can come up with any number of excuses not to budget: it takes too long, it’s not worth it, you’re not good with numbers, you’re doing fine without a budget, etc. If you’re not doing well financially, those excuses will hurt you. Budgeting helps you identify, early on, whether you have enough money to pay for everything you need and want to do with your paycheck. You’ll need to make significant changes if your expenses exceed your income.

Budgeting doesn’t have to take a lot of time; just a couple of hours each week will work in most cases. Write down your income, then list out all the expenses you have each month. Tweak your budget often so that it always fits your financial situation.

You’re not sticking to your budget. You can budget for hours, covering every financial detail, but if you don’t actually follow your budget, then all that planning was pointless. When you make a budget, stick to it. Refer to it frequently throughout the month and you’re spending money. If you ever have a doubt about whether you can afford something, look back at your budget. Even when you think you know that you can afford it, it doesn’t hurt to look at your budget to confirm that you can truly afford to spend the money.

You don’t have a plan for emergencies. Your financial life can go along smoothly for months or years and suddenly fall apart when a large emergency expense arises. If you’re a victim of a natural disaster, have a major medical bill, or if an appliance goes out in your home, it can disrupt your entire financial life. You can’t predict specific emergencies, but you can plan for all emergencies in general, by having an emergency savings you can access in these situations.

If you’ve had money troubles for years, you may start to accept it as a way of life. But, there’s a better way. Take time to understand how personal finance works and apply those lessons to your own finances. It may take awhile for the changes to be effective, but keep working at it and you’ll start seeing progress.
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Friday, 06 December 2019

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