So, you think you're Bad With Money - but you're not really sure because somehow you aren't homeless...Yet.
Let’s start with the basics, what exactly is a sign?
When it comes to personal finance, a sign is a phenomenon that can be detected by someone other than the individual being affected. Signs can also be referred to as: Red-flags, warnings, clues, etc.
Usually, these “signs” are pointed out to you by an elder or partner, in a not-so-pleasant way with more of a nagging tone attached…
or is that just me? lol
Why are we bad with money?
Most of our behavior with money is a learned trait/skill. If you have parents that are great at managing money and can control their spending by using a budget, then most likely you’re not the person reading this article.
But, if you’re reading this because you never picked up the skill to manage money and you think you might have a problem, then welcome – together we will learn what bad money habits look like and how we can change them, using proven tips that lead to success.
Who this article if for?
This article is perfect for hard-working people who want to change their bad money habits. Hard-working people who are tired of not having a dollar to their name at the end of payday.
After reading this post you will:
- Gain knowledge: Stop making money mistakes through education and professional advice.
- Be prepared: By using the worksheets provided in this post as tools.
- Feel confident: Learn to budget like you’ve been budgeting all your life with my step-by-step instructions on how to get started.
10 telling signs you're bad with money
Living paycheck to paycheck is when you solely depend on your next check to support yourself and your household. If you were to lose your job today, you’d be in some real trouble because you’d be worried about where the money for your next bill is going to come from.
According to this article on Forbes.com , 78% of workers in the US are living paycheck to paycheck.
My question is why though?
Why are so many people living like this and what can we do to change it? The most obvious reason hard working people are living paycheck to paycheck check is because it’s what we know – it’s our behavior.
As we grow, we learn and adapt behaviors and habits from those closest to us. This means that generations after generations are bad with money and don’t do anything about it.
Luckily we have the internet and can find articles like this one to teach us and guide us on how to change our bad money habits.
What’s the solution though? How can those, busting their asses – to provide for their family, stop living paycheck to paycheck?
Simple – change your behavior.
A few ways you can stop living paycheck to paycheck is by;
- Tracking how much you spend by using a budget/spending plan (which you can find here) or by using online apps like Mint, Everydollar.com, and Wally.
- Organizing your monthly income and expenses into one single worksheet (which you can find here)
- Setting financial boundaries. Limit what you are ok spending your money on while going through this transformation
- Prioritizing expenses into 3 categories – 1. Required to survive, 2. Necessary, 3. Wants
- Get rid of unnecessary expenses, like – unused gym memberships, book club subscriptions, etc.
Define title: Having little or no savings can be hurtful if you plan to have financial freedom
According to an article on Forbes.com 23% of Americans don’t save any money from their paycheck . I find that number kinda low, but who can argue with Forbes – they do surveys and sh*t.
We are simple creatures – we don’t like doing things that take us out of our comfort zone, especially if we have no knowledge of the subject. You probably have little or no savings because you have no idea how to ‘Pay Yourself First’.
‘Pay Yourself First’ is a popular term used in the world of personal finance and investments – it refers to a method financial advisers highly recommend because it is effective.
‘Pay Yourself First’ means just that – pay yourself first – before you pay everything else (even your rent/mortgage). I believe it to be more of a lifestyle, and not just something you do for a few months.
Now don’t confuse this with being greedy and selfish. This is straight-up a ‘if you don’t take care of you then who will’ thing.
According to Investopedia.com, ‘Pay Yourself First’ is considered the golden rule of personal finance. The goal is to secure your financial future and create a cushion for unexpected emergencies, such as medical bills or loss of income.
Steps to getting some money into your savings
- Create a monthly budget/spending plan
- Downsize to reduce bills to free up money for savings
- Prioritize savings as required for survival
- Save at least 10% of each paycheck
- Dave Ramsey says to start with $1000 in savings ($500 for 18K or less)
Behind on your bills means that you have passed the date set by one or more of your expenses like your car note, cell phone, or rent/mortgage.
You are considered past due and will most likely have to pay a fee.
How do we let this happen? Did we forget that it’s due every 1st of the month? Did we spend a little too much at the club last night? Like why do we get behind on our bills. Stop acting like you don’t know when your bill is due – you know – you just rather do other things that make you happier than paying a bill.
Change your mentality and how you think about your bills
Learn to be okay with paying your bills – some are actually required for your survival. If you don’t pay your rent/mortgage than you’ll be homeless. Skip your power bill and you will have no power to cook, run your air, or even have hot water to shower with.
If you’re behind on your bills because you “forget” when their due, then it’s time to get a calendar and/or start setting reminders. Buy a calendar or dry-erase board to put up on the kitchen wall or some where you look at every day. I’m sure we all have smartphones now that have reminders and alarms you can set to remind you that the bill is due.
Or are you behind on your bills because you don’t have enough money?
If you run out of money by the time your bill is due – then you’re living beyond your means. It’s time to do a deep dive into where your money is going. If you want help with that, then continue reading to find my free printable pdf – Monthly Income & Expenses Worksheet – that will help you prioritize your money wisely.
Are you constantly paying out overdraft fees and/or late fees?
Overdraft fees are charged by your bank for not having enough cash in your account to cover purchases or payments you’ve made. Usually these fees occur when the bank puts-up the money for you, and as part of this “nice” gesture – they charge you a fee.
Late fees are charged when you fail to make a scheduled payment on-time. Late fees are usually charged by credit card companies, auto loan companies, cell phone companies, etc. More than likely you know what I’m talking about because you’ve been charged a late fee or two. *Side note: Making a credit card or auto loan payment after its due date can affect your credit, as these types of loans are reported to the credit bureaus on a regular basis (if that’s something you care about).
In 2016, after realizing I was really bad with money, my husband and I participated in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University 9-week Course at a local church near our tiny apartment. We learned a lot about money, and we highly recommend looking into the course if you want to learn more And according to Dave Ramsey, constantly paying overdraft fees and late charges means you are in a crisis.
A financial crisis.
And it’s time for you to figure out what’s causing this to continue to happen. How can you prevent these fees that continue to set you back?
Avoid overdraft fees by opting out of overdraft coverage and setting up low balance alerts through your bank. When you have already over-drafted – some banks are nice enough to give you a day to transfer or deposit money into your account to avoid overdraft charges.
There are many things you can do to prevent late fees; one quick solution is to sign up for auto-pay – where the payment is automatically withdrawn from your bank account on a set date. Investopedia.com has a great short article with 10 ways to prevent late fees here – Procrastinator’s Guide to Bill Payment
Other ways to prevent overdraft charges and late fees is to balance your account by organizing your bills into one worksheet. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about creating a worksheet, I’ve already created something you can use. Continue reading to find the link to the PDF download.
In the financial world having debt means that you are using someone else’s money and you are responsible for paying it back (most of the time with interest).
For example: Credit Cards, Car loans, mortgages, etc.
One of the main reasons people go into debt is because of bad spending habits (spend more money than you make). Other reasons include sudden loss of income, medical expenses, increase in expenses, etc.
Avoid getting into further debt by:
- Track your spending using a budget and stay within your limits
- Set up an emergency fund
- Avoid cash advances or loans
- Stop using your credit card as a source of income
Ways to get out of debt:
- Use Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball payment plan and start with the smallest debt
- Earn extra income with a side hustle – like t-shirts, arts & crafts, blogging, etc.
- Get a seasonal part-time job
- Negotiate credit card debt
- Sell everything you don’t need on apps like – Facebook, Letgo.com, etc.
- Drop expensive habits
“Where does my money go” is probably a question you ask yourself at least once a month. This happens when you don’t know how much money you have coming in from your job or other income sources and how much money you’re spending.
Some people are not good at keeping track of their money because they just don’t know, and some people are bad at keeping track of their money because they just don’t care. Which person are you – the one that doesn’t know how or the one that doesn’t care?
If you don’t know how to keep track of your income and expenses because you weren’t taught or maybe you get overwhelmed when trying to organize your bills – don’t worry, I can help you.
If you don’t keep track of your income and your spending because you just don’t care – then you should be worried, because I definitely can’t help you. I can’t force you to care about your financial future. This has to be something you want to do for you – like the old saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t force ‘em to drink.”
Hopefully you are here because you’re tired of living your boring life and you want to take control of your money.
Keeping track of the money you make and the money you spend is easy and can quickly become a good habit by using our free monthly income & expenses worksheet which you can download here.
If you’re because you are just browsing and you don’t want to fix your bad money habits – then good luck to ya. Come back around when you’re ready.
Not having a budget or a spending plan is one of the main reasons people go into debt.
A budget is a spending plan that helps you keep track of the money you have coming in and the money being spent on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis – it’s meant to help you properly manage and maintain your home, lifestyle, or business.
According to an article on myMoneyCoach.ca, creating a budget “ensures that you will always have enough money for the things you need and the things that are important to you”. myMoneyCoach.ca is a free public service provided by a non-profit charitable organization called the Credit Counselling Society (CCS), you can read more about why budgeting is important here.
ARE YOU BAD WITH MONEY BECAUSE YOU DON’T HAVE THE KNOW-HOW OR THE TOOLS TO PROPERLY MANAGE YOUR FINANCES?
Not managing your money correctly can be super stressful and frustrating – causing you to feel agitated, angry, and depressed. A lot of our financial struggles originate from lack of experience and/or knowledge when it comes to money. Fortunately, this can be easily worked on and corrected.
In order to take control of your money, you need two things; knowledge & tools. My duty is to get you to your end goal as quickly as possible by providing the knowledge & tools I’ve discovered from either my personal experience or professional advice I’ve researched.
YOU DON’T HAVE A BUDGET BECAUSE YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START AND THE WHOLE PROCESS SEEMS OVERWHELMING…
If you feel overwhelmed when you think about budgeting, it’s probably because you don’t know where to start or you feel stuck with no idea what to do next. Like anything else in life, there are processes and procedures that help us bypass challenging obstacles to get to our end goal.
Our money habits are typically learned behaviors and passed down to us from our parents/caregivers. If they didn’t know how to manage their money correctly – then most likely neither do you. That’s not always the case though – plenty of people grow up with parents who were great at managing their money but for whatever reason failed to pass down the valuable information to their kids.
Here are 3 effortless steps to create a budget that works for you;
- Set goals using the Setting Goals PDF Bundle (here)
- Create a Monthly income and expenses worksheet (here)
- Design a budget/spending plan (here)
Get started with this awesome Monthly Budget Worksheet PDF that I currently use to manage my finances. It was created in Google Sheets so click for the editable version on Google.
In the famous book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill defines a goal as being a dream that has a deadline for accomplishing it.
His formula for success included 13 principles that weren’t really well known by the people living back in 1937, but wildly used by well-known millionaires like, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and J.P. Morgan to name a few.
These virtuous principles included things like; Desire, Faith, Imagination, Organized planning, Persistence, and other functions that many people don’t know exist.
But, we are not here to talk about this book – that’s a post for another day. If you are interested in purchasing the book for yourself or a friend – click here (paid link).
AS I UNDERSTAND IT:
A goal is an object or an outcome you strongly desire. Perhaps something you’ve been wishing for or dreaming of. The kicker – a goal must have a time of completion. And in order to attain what you have been desperately seeking, you must set up an action plan that will help you get organized and lead you to the finish line of success.
there are so many different types of goals, where do you even start?
- Personal Growth
- Money / Finances
STEPS TO SETTING GOALS: THE STRESS-FREE METHOD
- Start with the subject causing you the most stress and aggravation. For me, it’s usually money.
- Work on multiple goals at once by setting priorities. I start with the goal that will be quickest & easiest to accomplish because once I complete that goal I feel motivated and empowered to push through the rest.
- Break down your the goals into smaller, doable, weekly tasks using the worksheets below.
- Followed by setting reminders, alarms or calendar events.
To help me with these steps, I created a few worksheets, using Google. I have included them for free at the bottom of this post.
You can also get a composition notebook for $1 at any store and use it to write down goals as they come up in your head.
I keep my little notebook close for when a goal pops up and I don’t want to forget it, I quickly write it down.
I know first-hand how hard it can be to try to change your life for the better. It can be very difficult to go at it alone. Asking for help can be the hardest thing a person can do, but I’m excited that you are here and have given me the opportunity to join you on your journey to reach greatness.
Use the Setting Goals Bundle I have created to make the necessary changes in your life in order to reach success. It’s 3 simple pages of life changing actions.
I’m also working on an online course that will guide you with step-by-step instructions. It’s a free online course you can pre-register for it here – SETTING GOALS: THE STRESS-FREE METHOD
You shouldn’t have a relationship with your pawnbroker unless you use them as a business vendor when buying and re-selling these used items online or at a flea market.
There are 3 parts to Pawnshops; Pawn, Sell, Buy.
To pawn something is to use a personal item of value as collateral when borrowing money.
Pawning usually involves high interest rates and has a small window of time the loan must be paid in order to get your valuable item back.
People pawn things like, Jewelry, Electronics, Power Tools, Firearms, Collectible Coins, etc.
If you fail to repay the loan, the pawnbroker can now sell your item(s) to someone else to recoup the money from the loan they gave you.
Personally, I think it’s a bad idea to pawn your valuable. It’s just not worth the risk of possibly losing your great-grandmother’s precious wedding band that has been passed down from generation to generation because your dumb ass can’t afford to pay back that small loan you got from that sketchy pawn shop down the block.
At a pawnshop you can also sell your valuables for a fraction of it’s cost.
In this transaction, you are actually given money that doesn’t have to be paid back because it’s not a loan but a sale.
Just like pawning, you can sell anything of value. However, you won’t get the money you think your item is worth because pawnshops have to make money when they turn-around and re-sell your valuable.
Selling is better than pawning, but you still don’t get the true value of what your item is worth.
Are you borrowing $40 from Mom because you don’t have enough money leftover from your last check to cover your Redbull habit for the week?
Our special skill of being bad with money doesn’t only affect us. It’s like the boom of a bass, you can literally feel the vibration of the beat – feeling the energy of the music pulsating through the air.
That’s what it’s like for those closest to us. Our bad with money energy vibrates through the air affecting those in our close circle, like – our children, parents, and friends.
Most of it comes from self-preservation. You’re so focused on you, that you fail to see how your behavior impacts those around you.
Stop borrowing small amounts of money because you don’t know how to control your bad spending habits.
Why is this someone else’s problem?
I’m sure that you have noticed that a few of the people you’ve been asking money from are probably not in your life as much as they used to be.
This is probably because they are tired of your needy ass.
If you can’t afford to buy it, you shouldn’t be buying it.
Unless you are part of the 3% of the population that doesn’t haven’t to worry about money – then I suggest you start putting in the work to change your bad money habits.
Remember, there are ways to change the way you do things – using this article is one of them. Another thing you can do to facilitate the changes you are looking for is to read – read books that are money or habit related.
The more you know, the better your chance is at creating the life you’ve always dreamed of.