Bad hair day, not working out for a month, hating your job – there are problems in life that we all deal with on a daily basis. Some problems are minuscule in the grand scheme of things, so they are often overlooked, however there are problems that can cause a negative ripple effect throughout your life. Major money problems can definitely do that.
The CGS Team is sharing a few common money problems and the proper steps you should take to fix those problems. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, nothing worth having comes easy. There’s no overnight solution to money problems (unless you win the lottery), so get ready to work!
Major Money Problems and How to Solve Them
Money Problem #1: “I Can’t Control my Spending”
Access to credit lines and loans have made it very easy for anyone to overspend. Add emotions, keeping up with joneses, and a pure “want” attitude in the mix and you have a recipe for disaster. It may feel like you can’t control your spending because you never have before, but you are in charge of your actions.
If you don’t trust yourself in spending situations, make shopping harder to do. Unsubscribe from newsletters, avoid malls and shopping centers, and take all of your credit cards out of your wallet. Ok, you can leave one in there – but only use in an emergency situation!
Next, change your daily habits. If you always eat out or pick up a cup of coffee on the way to work, get yourself some good food and snacks at the grocery store, and get ready to make your own coffee. Overspending money doesn’t just happen at the malls, it happens on your daily routine with food or snacks that you don’t need.
Make a list of good snacks you can have during the day, as well as what you can eat for lunch and dinner. Ease into it by bring your lunch and snacks to work every other day. Once you get into a routine, eventually make it every day and treat yourself to a coffee on Fridays.
The key is moderation when it comes to spending. You don’t need to deprive yourself, but you do need to control yourself. If you need a spending accountability partner, consider scheduling a free consultation with the CGS Founder/Financial Consultant Raya.
Money Problem #2: “I Live Paycheck to Paycheck”
If you live paycheck to paycheck because you can’t control your spending, read section number #1 again. Once you have a handle on your spending, you free up more money in between pay periods. If you can avoid any extra spending for one month, you’ll very likely break that cycle.
If your situation is a little more complicated than that – for instance, you don’t overspend on things you don’t need, your expenses are just too high. Or, you don’t make enough money to cover your living needs, these are slightly harder problems to fix. If your expenses are too high, consider cutting out things like cable, extra data on your cell phone, and unused memberships to free up some money.
Do you live alone? Would a roommate help your situation? The thought of sharing a space may work your nerves, but having someone pay half of the rent and utilities helps big time. If you simply don’t make enough money, it’s time to look for a part time job, switch jobs altogether, or start a side business. In this case, bringing in extra cash is the solution.
Money Problem #3: “I Have Uncontrollable Debt”
Debt is a money-sucker, thanks to extremely high interest rates or the length of the loan. If you have credit card debt, stop using your cards completely. You can’t get out of debt if you keep using it. Focus on paying down the cards with the highest interest rates or highest balance first.
Cards with zero interest aren’t costing you yet, so their priority level isn’t as high. Come up with a debt repayment plan that you can afford. It’s not worth putting all of your extra money on your cards, only to have a financial emergency and rack them back up again. Read DIY Debt Reduction Plan for some tips.
Also, consider the Personalized Budget Plan from CGS which comes with a detailed debt repayment plan created based on your financial situation.
Money Problem #4: “I Don’t Know How Much to Save for Retirement”
This is a common problem among young people. Retirement seems like lifetimes away and who knows how your situation will change in the meantime. That’s a reasonable thought, however it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be saving anything.
First and foremost, you need to be contributing up to what your employer matches. If you aren’t taking advantage of your employer match, you are missing out on free retirement money. Until you have an idea of where you will be and what you will need at retirement, experts recommend you save 10-15% of your income.
That may be a stretch, but the earlier you start saving, the more money you will have at retirement. If you aren’t dealing with kids or a mortgage, now may be the best time to contribute as much as you can afford to. Check out How Much Should I Save for Retirement for more information.
Money Problem #5: “I Need a Budget”
If you find yourself consistently short of money or you never seem to be able to save for trips or things you want, a budget can help. A budget is not some scary plan that means you can’t spend a dime. It is simply a tool that shows how to spend your money.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, the key to sticking to one is to make sure it’s both realistic and simple. Most people struggle with setting or sticking to a budget because they don’t know what’s realistic to spend on fun, save, or put towards debts. If you don’t know, don’t let that stop you.
There are plenty of resources out there to help you make a budget, even City Girl Savings! Our service allows us to provide detailed budget plans based on our client’s specific situation.
You provide your income, bill information and debt amounts in the Start Your Budget Form, and we take that information, analyze it, and create a plan specific for you. It’s that simple. Once you have a budget, make sure to check up on your spending to ensure you are staying in line with the limits of your budget.
Everyone has money problems. Simply brushing them under the rug is not going to fix them. Make it a point to make the best financial moves you can and don’t be afraid to seek help if you need it! What money problems have you faced or are currently facing? Post a comment below to share your thoughts.