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7 Types of People Who Can’t Avoid Debt

7 Types of People Who Can’t Avoid Debt

Living in a first-world country has a lot of perks and being able to buy things you can’t immediately afford is a big one. Taking out loans and acquiring a bit of debt is an essential part of life. In an ideal world, people would use credit for major, life-altering purchases like a house or a car and then pay off the debt within the next few years. However, this idealistic scenario hangs on the assumption that people are incredibly responsible and will be able to create an effective budget and stick to it, even if it means not being able to afford all the pretty, shiny things that they want. There are people out there who just can’t seem to avoid debt; they seem almost drawn to it. If you want to avoid becoming one of them, you need to understand what it is that causes problems with credit.

1. People whose buying decisions are influenced by others

The type of person that is most likely to accumulate debt is one who is unsatisfied with his life and always looks to others with envy.  These people falsely assume that if they buy the same things and live the same lifestyle as someone they admire, they will somehow be respected and achieve a sense of fulfillment. Just because the Johnsons from down the street have a Mercedes parked in their driveway doesn’t mean that you have to go out and get one, nor do you need some of the high-tech gadgetry and jewelry they flaunt at local parties – particularly if all these things are well above your pay grade. In order to avoid becoming this type of person you’ll need to sit down with your significant other or family members and have constructive discussion about what you can do to feel comfortable in your own skin and how much you can actually afford to spend on various items. There are a number of self-help books and motivational videos out there that will help you come to terms with your finances.  You need to realize that respect and happiness aren’t synonymous with owning a bunch of high-end equipment and expensive clothes.

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2. People who are impulsive buyers

Excited Shopping Woman

    Some people just don’t seem to have any self-control whatsoever. They will walk around the mall like  little squirrels gathering nuts for the winter, turning their heads at every “Sale” sign and stopping at every shop window. It doesn’t matter whether they need an item or not, they will buy a new blender, rowing machine, tablet or purse, simply for the thrill of it. Now, there is nothing wrong with going on an endorphin-inducing shopping spree every now and again, but impulsive buyers will accumulate large amounts of debt by constantly buying impractical items they don’t really have a use for, or even useful items that are way out of their price range. Knowing your priorities and being realistic can help you avoid using credit to make impulsive purchases. When you get an urge to buy something, take a moment to breathe and remind yourself that your finances don’t allow that type of purchase right now. Write some of those expensive, pretty things down in your wish list and quench your thirst for shopping by buying some inexpensive trinkets.  As long as you buy something new you will get that rush of excitement you usually get from shopping; just keep it cheap and simple.

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    3. People who take random advice from others

    While your family and friends can sometimes be a true source of inspiration and offer a helping hand and shoulder to cry on, not every piece of advice they give will be particularly sound. Remember, these people are not, for the most part, experts on business and finance, and there is a good chance that they have heard a few sentences on TV or read something online a few years back and now feel qualified to give out all kinds of advice on how to avoid debt or pay it off. If you want advice on developing a good budget and getting your finances in check you need to consult professionals. When a friend or family member gives you some financial advice, just nod politely and thank them, then double check it when you get home and see if what they suggest really works.

    4. People who don’t have clear goals

    It’s a sad sight to see, but there are plenty of people out there in their early thirties acting like teenagers and focusing on game consoles, video games and beer rather than investing in their home, their children’s clothes or paying off their student loans. When you are that selfish, irresponsible and have no real ambition and clear goals it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important and continue living in an imaginary world where things like financial stability, family, responsibilities and hard-work are disregarded in favor of  trivial things. Having some kind of idea of where you want your life to go is important if you don’t want to become this type of person. Setting goals for yourself isn’t really difficult – you need one or two major goals that you want to achieve in  5-6 years and few smaller goals that can be achieved within the next year. The goals can be as simple getting in shape or paying off your car by next year, but all of this should tie in to your long-term goal, e.g. getting a bigger apartment so you can move in with your partner.

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    5. People who don’t have a savings account

    A savings account with a couple of thousand dollars on it can serve as a safety net. If an unexpected event occurs and you don’t have any money stashed away, it can end up ruining your efforts to pay of your existing debt or cause you to fall further into debt. People who have at least a thousand dollars saved for rainy days can deal with all sorts of problems and suffer much less stress than those getting by paycheck-to-paycheck. Be sure to set aside a bit of money each month – even $100 or $200 every month can be enough. Change your thinking about windfall money; your tax refund, a bonus, or a generous gift should be seen as an opportunity to build your savings, not to buy some big-ticket item you’ve been wishing for.

    6. People who don’t know how to create an effective budget

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    Girl writting in notebook

      Writing things down on paper has an incredible way of enlightening you as to where you are going wrong. You can justify all kinds of bad decisions in your head, form a distorted picture of reality and even lie to yourself about how much you spend on things that are not essential, but when the cold facts are sitting in front of you, in black and white, it’s much easier to create a plan and make the right budget cuts. Write down how much you earn – coupled with how much other members of the household earn – and make a list of your monthly expenses. You need to divide the expenses into several categories, but the most important classification is necessary, fixed expenses (car payments, rent, bills, etc.) vs. flexible expenses (food, clothing, gas, hygiene products, etc.) vs. optional expenses (video games, new hat, blender, etc.). Savings can be made on flexible expenses (avoiding overpriced name brands, buying food in bulk, using coupons and looking for good deals) while a lot of optional expenses can be cut out of the budget altogether or put on hold for a couple of months until your finances start shaping up.

      7. People who use credit for everything

      It is quite reasonable to use a credit card in some situations and take out loans when a major investment is required, but there are people who’ll make 3-5 small store runs during the day and just keep putting things on their credit cards. When you buy with cash you have a very good idea of just how much you are spending.  When using a credit card it’s easy to get carried away and forget that all those little purchases add up to quite a bit. If you want to stay debt free, consider using cash for smaller purchases or creating a list of things you need for that day and buying them all in one go. Weekly shopping runs are a great way to save money because you buy in bulk and avoid unplanned, spur-of-the-moment purchases like random snacks and drinks. Having a list prepared ahead of time will help you to get everything you need in that one trip, and will also help curtail impulse buying.

      These seven types of people can’t seem to avoid debt for many different reasons. If you want to learn how to keep yourself from accumulating more and more debt and wish to pay off your existing debt,  you will need to identify the mistakes these people make, understand why they lead to more debt, and try to avoid making the same mistakes.

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      Ivan Dimitrijevic

      Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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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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