If you want to have financial freedom during your retirement, it's vital to keep track of how you spend money.
According to wealthy people, the key ingredient to becoming rich is by living within your means. But indeed, it's hard to attain, especially if you receive a low income per month or have student loans to pay and support people financially.
The amount of money you can save and spend will widely depend on your lifestyle. Of course, your financial goals will also be your motivation to save more and spend less today. You might find it challenging to manage these things without assistance. If that's the case, talking to a financial advisor might help.
Here are the indicators that you are spending more money than you can afford and some tips to bounce back.
You Base Your Budget on Your Salary
You might think that your high salary from your exceptionally excellent job is more than enough for your monthly expenses. But that's where you're wrong. After your mandatory salary deductions and tax obligations, you will be most likely left with less than what you anticipated.
If you budget your cash based on your pre-deducted salary, you are overestimating how much to spend. To avoid this, budget your money according to your paycheck or the cash that ends up in your pocket. It would also be more helpful to use online tools or calculators to determine the exact amount you can take home and start budgeting from there.
You Spend More than You Earn
We get it, life is hard, and at times, it can be costly too. But remember that to achieve financial stability, you need to have more incoming than outgoing money.
List down all your essential expenses for the month- including food, rent, and bills. Take note that the total of these expenses should never exceed your monthly income. If the total is too high and you don't modify your expenses soon, you might fall into debt, resulting in a bad credit score.
Your Net Worth Is Negative
When you have been spending more than you can afford, you will have a negative net worth in the end. What does it mean to have a negative net worth? It's when what you own is lesser than what you owe.
You are not the only person in this kind of situation. A study in 2016 stated that about 15% of American households have a zero net worth or less. You have the option to file for bankruptcy to have some relief. However, not all loans can be forgiven. And what's even worse is that bankruptcy can significantly affect your chances of getting loan approvals.
Pay off your debts slowly but surely, and make sure to manage your finances properly. Know your priorities. In the meantime, avoid spending on leisure and recreational activities. You will enjoy these activities more in the future if your mind is free from financial burden.
You Have Balance on Your Credit Card
There is nothing wrong with using credit cards. It can even help you attain a good credit score, as long as you pay your bills on time. But if you leave a balance on your monthly bills, that's when your financial problems will begin.
In most cases, credit card balances don't necessarily mean that you're doomed. Yet it's still a sure prediction that you are sending way too much or using the money you don't even possess. If possible, consider getting a personal loan to pay off all your credit card debt at once.
Your Home Mortgage or Rent Is More than 30% of Your Income.
The standard estimate of ensuring that you can afford a home without losing all your money is by paying monthly rent or mortgage below 30% of your income. For example, if your monthly income is $3000, your rent or mortgage should be less than $900 per month.
Another way to ensure that you can afford your home is by limiting your monthly expenses to 30%. It can be pretty challenging at first, especially if you live in the city. But it's a good start to managing your finances. You can use the remaining 40% for savings and other essentials.
You Buy Things to Impress People
One of the most common signs of overspending is buying things to impress people. Unfortunately, many adults tend to spend money on designer clothes, bags, and shoes to stay trendy. But this habit can significantly affect your finances.
Learn to live within your means. Remember that impressing people is not necessary to live a joyful life. Purchase only what you need and avoid spending on products and services that are of no use to you at all.
You work hard to earn money. That's why it's also vital to be wise on spending it. Ensure emergency and savings funds, so you will not worry about money when unexpected events happen.