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4 Ways To Avoid Being Broke

4 Ways To Avoid Being Broke

In today’s world, we are now running faster than ever to be able to make more every hour. We compete with the people next to us and people on the opposite end of the continent to make our mark and to make our living.

However, as the number of millionaires increases, the number of people reaching bankruptcy and being broke is ultimately increasing too. News of the once rich and famous going broke often pops up in the Financial Report.

How can you avoid the mistakes of the once rich who’ve gone broke? Here are some common-sense tips to help you avoid being broke.

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    1. Don’t purchase what you can’t afford just to impress.

    These days, we are all looking to impress. Looking less is unacceptable in certain parts of the world. While some believe beauty is found within, others believe that beauty is in the Prada you wear and the sports car you drive. So, to impress those who really don’t matter, we spend our paychecks in a department store.

    Take this lesson from history: one should never spend beyond their means. If you can’t afford it, then find alternatives according to your means. This is a survival mechanism which allows you to save and prevents you from going into debt. Getting away from your need to impress is a great way to avoid excessive spending.

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      2. Freeze your credit cards in your freezer.

      The trend these days, instead of carrying cash, is carrying different cards from different banks with different interests in your purse or wallet. You swipe at every single purchase with your mind on your purchase and ignore the bills you’ve been racking up. According to research, one of the biggest reasons for an individual to be broke is overspending on multiple credit cards.

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      Running away and changing your identity is one option, while another is to declare bankruptcy. To avoid either of these, try going old school and carrying cash instead. This limits what you can spend in the moment. If the temptation of using your credit cards is too great, try freezing them in ice in your freezer. This adds another obstacle between you and your next charge.

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        3. Invest smartly, not impulsively.

        Investing is a great way to make money and protect your assets. However, we aren’t all experts in investing. We may be great moneymakers, but the talent of wise investing doesn’t come to us all. Investing emotionally is the same as gambling — we gamble impulsively, hence we lose big or win big.

        As a precaution, always have an advisor who is trustworthy and an expert on investing either in real estate or stock markets. However, research on your part is also important. It will give you the confidence and knowledge you need to make smart investments. After some time, you will be used to investing and your experience will be your greatest advisor.

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        Concept of investment with eggs in the same basket.

          4. Focus on diversifying your assets.

          In the dating world, we are often told to focus on differences rather than similarities. Why? Because it gives us the confidence to secure our emotional selves. Why not act the same way with your assets?

          In the 2000s, the “Get Rich Quick” scheme was on the rise. Many went broke when they invested all their assets in one scheme. History teaches us to never leave all our eggs in one basket. This is an important lesson when it comes to investing.

          Investigate how you can expand your assets and diversify your investments in different markets and different sectors. Read books to help you understand how you can best go about diversifying your assets.

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          Thinking about finances is always uncomfortable and spending is always tempting. However, in today’s world, your assets and your bank balance will give you a sense of security, while extravagant spending may leave you at the bottom of the barrel.

          Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

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          Last Updated on March 4, 2019

          How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

          How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

          Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

          I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

          Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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          Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

          Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

          Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

          I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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          I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

          If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

          Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

          The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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          Using Credit Cards with Rewards

          Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

          You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

          I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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          So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

          What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

          Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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