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7 Causes People Get Into Debt

7 Causes People Get Into Debt
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    Have you ever thought of why you are in debt? Have you ever scrutinized the reasons behind your debt problems? We know that debt can lead us to disastrous consequences in our lives. It can consume our assets, bring on mental stress and even hurt our relationships. There are multiple factors that compel people into debt, this is because many are not aware of the causes behind it. Although there are effective debt elimination programs like debt consolidation, debt settlement etc, we must be aware of the causes that leads to great financial errors  so we can avoid be consumed by debt.

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    Understand the causes of debt below to make sure that it doesn’t take over your life in the future.

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    1. Reduced Income: Often your expenses exceed your income. If you delay in taking care of handling your life with a lower income then you are sure to start to take on debt. Make sure that you understand your changed income and create a budget and a plan as soon as possible.
    2. Divorce: More than half of American marriages end up in divorce and with it comes strain on personal finances. The laws in America govern what should be done with a couple’s money during a divorce settlement. When one party demands too much, the other will be forced to go into debt to pay for attorneys as well as what their partner deems necessary as part of the settlement.
    3. Poor Money Management: Most of the time, poor budgeting invokes debt. You must have a monthly budget. Without a proper budget, you will not be able to track your expenses. If you write down your spending for an entire month you can see exactly where you money ends up. This is the best way to learn where you can cut some unnecessary expenses and help yourself avoid debt.
    4. Underemployment: People often feel that underemployment is temporary, but it can have a lasting effect on your life, especially if you have to go into debt to make ends meet. If you are underemployed, calculate your expenses and start looking for a second job. This might eliminate your chances of falling in debt.
    5. Gambling: Is one of the most beloved forms of entertainment for Americans. However in reality, it is just a guaranteed exchange of money from you to “the house”. As loans are easily available today, one becomes easily addicted to the idea of “winning big” and striking it rich. In fact, gambling can easily lead to you effortlessly mortgaging your future to “the house” as you try to win back what you have lost.
    6. Medical Expenses: Lapsed policies and expensive medical treatments make this one of the easiest ways to fall into debt. Everything to do in the medical realm costs money and usually a lot of it. On top of that doctors and hospitals are becoming more and more impatient with people that don’t pay their bills on time. Because of this they tend to turn in patients that don’t have the money to collection agencies. When you don’t have the money to pay for your doctor visit it can be easy to put the bill on a credit card or even to take a loan out to avoid collections.
    7. Little Savings: If you want to avoid unwanted debt, try to be prepared for unexpected expenditures by saving some money. If you have decent savings in place you can use it for emergencies like severe illness, a job-loss or divorce without increasing your debt. Believe me, no one ever regrets saving money for emergencies.

    The above mentioned causes of debt are very common for Americans and can be easy to fall into. However, if you develop good money management and budgeting skills, you can avoid them. Another thing to remember is that it is important to spend within your means, which will further prevent the reduction of your wealth. By taking prudent steps toward financial responsibility you will can greatly reduce the probability of sinking into and accruing more and more debt.

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    Published on September 17, 2018

    How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

    How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

    Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

    With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

    So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

    1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

    It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

    You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

    So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

    2. When you want something big, wait

    Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

    It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

    We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

    A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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    So, you get the itch.

    You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

    Here’s where you have to take a step back.

    Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

    Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

    It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

    The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

    3. Live smaller than you can afford

    You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

    You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

    That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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    Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

    Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

    The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

    But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

    4. Practice smart grocery shopping

    Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

    But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

    Create a grocery budget

    Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

    Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

    I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

    Make a list… and never deviate

    Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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    You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

    These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

    Eat before going grocery shopping

    It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

    If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

    After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

    Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

    However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

    This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

    5. Cancel your gym membership

    Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

    The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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    Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

    I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

    Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

    Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

    For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

    Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

    There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

    It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

    I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

    Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

    The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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