Handling the household finances can be a lot of pressure, after all, deciding where your money goes after receiving your paycheck is important. If you’re not careful, you can be on the fast track to being broke pretty quickly, and once you’re in debt, can take years to come out of, if you even can at all. By making the right money moves now you can set yourself up for success, not only on a monthly basis, but in the future when you are ready to walk away from work and head on into retirement. If you can avoid the behaviors now that can lead you to becoming broke, you will be much better prepared for the future, and less stressed at that, improving your overall health to hopefully tack on a few extra years.
Not Tracking Spending
Host households either do not have a budget, or had one at one point but failed, so that may not be for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that spending should go out the window. If you can take a look at the previous month’s debit or credit card statement to see where every dollar is going, that will help you eliminate unnecessary purchases and hopefully hang onto your money a little tighter, knowing how much you could have saved if you had put a little more thought into each purchase.
Putting All Purchases on a Credit Card
One way that spending can quickly go out the window is by putting all charges on a credit card, with virtually no stopping you until you hit your credit limit. While credit cards do offer plenty of perks such as protection from fraud, not to mention the rewards, which is a good enough reason to use a credit card for all purchases, that may not be the right move for those that may not be as disciplined to be able to spend and then pay off the full statement balance by the due date.
Going Without an Emergency Fund
You never know what life can throw at you, whether that be an unexpected medical or vet bill, auto repair, or even if you lose your job, you want to have a cushion so that you don’t have to put any unexpected charges on a credit card and sink deeper into a debt that you don’t have the money for right now, or probably won’t for a while, paying interest on in the meantime. If you are able to put a few months into an emergency fund, you can give yourself a little cushion if you do have any unexpected charges come in.
Avoiding Saving for the Future
Even though it may seem like an eternity until you retire, while sure, it may even be a few decades away, but it will fly by and you don’t want to be left relying on social security by the time you retire, barely being able to scrape by. If you are able to save for retirement now, you will have a much better chance of growing over time and be able to live close to the lifestyle that you are accustomed to now. Check with your company about employer-matched contributions, as match that maximum is avoiding leaving free money on the table otherwise.
Living Beyond Your Means
We all make different salaries, have different expenses, so it doesn’t make any sense that we would either try to keep up with friends of higher incomes or put on a show that we have more money than what we have, as it just comes off as being careless, and will only hurt you down the road. No matter if it’s your home, car, spending habits, if you can live within your means you will be able to free up extra money to stay out of debt and save for the future, which is all that is important in the end. You can still enjoy life experiences, just do what you can afford. After all, going through your life and saving every dollar while not enjoying anything while you’re young enough to isn’t fun either.
Continuing to Make the Wrong Money Moves
Sure, we all make mistakes, no one is perfect. It’s how you deal with those mistakes and learn from them is what is important. For example, if you had credit card spending issues and were finally able to pay off, don’t go back into your old habit of careless spending. Spend what you’re able to pay off when the statement bill comes due.