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10 Signs You’re Committing Financial Suicide Though You Don’t Feel You Are

10 Signs You’re Committing Financial Suicide Though You Don’t Feel You Are

Being able to properly handle your finances is one of the things that proves that you are a mature person. This is easier said than done, and even if you are in possession of some extra cash at the end of each month, it’s still not proof that you’re being responsible. In other words, simply not being irresponsible does not necessarily make you a prudent individual.

The act of financial suicide is not something that happens instantly, it is something you have plenty of time to back out from. Unfortunately, we can constantly see how people are either struggling with their finances, or how they ended up completely broke. When something like that happens, the blame is usually placed on the country’s economy, or on the tax system, etc. Although there is truth in that statement, it still does not completely justify one’s recklessness. If you are aware of the conditions you are living in, you need to work towards solutions, not excuses. Here are the most common mistakes people make that cause them to collapse financially.

1. You decide to have children, but you are financially unstable

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    If you plan on raising kids properly, you need to have financial stability, and enough time on your hands to do it properly. Without a stable financial state, you may be setting a bad role model for them. After all, the apple does not fall far from the tree, and financial suicide is likely to be inherited.

    Being able to provide for your child’s health care, clothing, education, and so on is not cheap (over a lifetime you may end up spending millions), but necessary for a brighter future. Take these expenses into consideration when you plan on raising children. If you truly want to have a healthy family, prioritize your career, and use your desire to allow your ambitions to properly bloom.

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    2. You are financially dependent on other people

    Our friends and family are always willing to help, however going through life as a charity case is definitely not the way to live. Everybody has his or her boiling point, and no one will tolerate your incompetence forever. Sooner or later, your relationship with your loved ones will get worse if you do not start doing something productive with your life.

    When you borrow money, do everything in your power not to get into the same situation again. Calculate how to lower your expenses, think about what you can do to earn some extra cash. To say it bluntly, you need to realize that you are in a serious problem.

    3. You start settling your debts by turning to money loans

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      Regardless of how difficult your financial situation is, you must never allow yourself to settle your debts by turning to payday loan companies. These are just seemingly easy solutions, meant to lure you in and deplete your finances faster than you think. These companies are very widespread and they are extremely profitable. If you want to get out of debt, this is not a solution – you will only end up owing more money. Any financial adviser will tell you the same thing. These are just quick solutions that sound appealing in order to masquerade the intentions of completely draining your budget. Settle your debts by using any other alternative.

      4. You rely on bank credit all the time

      Another form of financial irresponsibility is constantly relying on bank credit. We hear stories all the time about how people are barely making ends meet, so they are waiting for their credit to be approved, so they are basically always in the red. The problem is the unpredictable future: if you are constantly tapping into your cash reserves, you are completely defenseless. What if something happens that throws your living situation out of balance? You will have no efficient solution, and it’s all downhill from that moment forth.

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      To avoid this, start living more modestly. Focus your efforts to return to a balanced budget, and consider all the possible options for earning a little extra. Ask your employer if there are more responsibilities that you can take on and be financially compensated for. Restoring your emergency fund is of utmost importance.

      5. You frequently gamble (or gamble large amounts of money)

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        Gambling in casinos, playing the lottery, and placing bets on sports games can be extremely addictive. When there is enough money in your budget, starting to place bets for the sake of earning a little extra is a terrible decision. Winning is far from impossible in these cases, but as mentioned, the problem lies in losing control. It is still unclear whether gambling should be defined as addiction or compulsion, one thing is certain however – people tend to use it as an escape mechanism, to relieve themselves from the anxiety, or to get their dose of adrenalin rush. Eventually, the condition takes over to the point where you are no longer concerned with the consequences.

        Whenever you think about gambling, put all the money you would invest in a piggy bank. Gradually, you will accumulate a handsome bank deposit that you can place in your local bank and allow it to grow.

        6. You are negligent towards office equipment

        This mostly applies to business owners. It is extremely difficult to balance your priorities, but still, your future and your business’s well being depends on the quality of your service. Always make sure everything is functioning properly, otherwise the whole situation can be followed be an unfortunate turn of events – also known as financial suicide.

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        Computers need to be maintained and function properly. Office printers do not last forever and you need to know when they might need a replacement. Headphone sets, cables and every minor detail that may seem unimportant need to be fully functional or they may harm your professional image. In this world, appearances and first impressions matter, so always strive to be at your best.

        7. Choosing the wrong/luxurious home

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          Living in a place you cannot afford, or living in an inconvenient location, is one of the most common causes for financial suicide. If you need to commute a lot in order to work on a daily basis you are likely to encounter problems with budget. Luckily this is a manageable issue, carpooling and saving money on gas is one of the best solutions.

          Much larger problems occur when you take a bigger bite than you can chew, or to be more precise, buy an expensive house without enough support. This kind of costly lifestyle will have a troublesome aftermath. Honestly, if you are not completely certain you can afford something, chances are you probably can’t. Opt for a home that you can afford one hundred percent – even if you are hoping to use it as an investment.

          8. You spend more than you earn on a monthly basis

          This is a very common trait in people who are newly employed. During payday week, they live like royalty, and for the rest of the month, they adopt a lifestyle similar to hermits. You may not have serious troubles with maxed out credit or loans, but you are still not making good use of what could be a very lucrative setup in future.

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          Know your limitations, calculate your expenses, and at the end of the month, treat yourself with something – but at the same time, avoid straining your budget. Work towards creating a solid nest egg and securing a more stable future.

          9. You are not planning your future

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            Responsibility merits healthy ambition, realistic goals, and always thinking ahead. Living in the moment is for high school kids and college students. With that kind of mindset, reality is bound to hit you hard. Spending cash and enjoying life is what people usually do during a summer break, since doing it throughout a whole year will leave you broke.

            Do not be satisfied with your life for too long. Too much hedonism is toxic for your future. Take time to enjoy, but never forget to push yourself and make endeavors, for the sake of progression. Organize your life, set goals and objectives, and devise strategies on how to realize them. It is imperative that you devote at least two hours of your day time working towards these achievements. Even failing is not a complete waste of time and money, as long as you have gained something valuable that you can implement in the future.

            10. You are lazy

            If you are done with your work and you go home and you have no other responsibilities, then you are lazy. It may seem like a strange definition, but it is true. It means that you have at least 5 hours of productive time and you decide there is nothing that you can do. Lazy does not necessarily mean you are lying around doing nothing, it also means you have a mortifying lack of ambition. In other words, not working towards increasing your budget means you are working against it, and once again, a step closer to financial suicide.

            When you are blessed with enough free time, do not let it go to waste, learn to invest it into something that can be lucrative. Even taking up a hobby can be a judicious investment, as long as there is someone who will appreciate your work.

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            Djordje Todorovic

            Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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            Last Updated on January 2, 2019

            How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

            How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

            Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

            Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

            Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

            This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

            Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

            What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

            Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

            When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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            How It Leads to Financial Improvement

            It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

            Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

            Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

            It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

            Types of Personal Finance Software

            When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

            Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

            For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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            Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

            When to Use Personal Finance Software

            So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

            Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

            1. You Have Multiple Accounts

            There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

            If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

            Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

            2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

            Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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            There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

            With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

            3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

            Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

            Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

            Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

            4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

            Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

            You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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            How to Get Started

            From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

            Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

            It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

            When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

            Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

            Final Thoughts

            Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

            In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

            Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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