Financial concerns are an issue for millions of Americans, and a constant source of anxiety that pushes stress levels higher. Given the long recovery of the American economy from the 2008 crash and the uneven distribution of wealth in the years that followed, money problems have become a sore spot for millions. While most think that more money could help solve financial problems, there is no guarantee that having more money can solve money problems. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you attempt to solve money woes, realizing that more money is not the end solution to this problem.
More Money, More Problems
The truth behind most money problems is not an actual lack of finances, but issues with behavior and decision making. If you are having difficulty paying bills, paying off debt, or you may find yourself getting into more debt, the cause of this problem is often a lack of control. Finances Online offer a list of common causes of financial stress:
- Expenses are greater than income: Are you spending more than you earn or maxing out credit cards?
- Living paycheck to paycheck: Do you find yourself looking forward to every other Friday in hopes of a much-needed payday?
- Lack of a financial plan: Have you generally lost control over your finances?
In many cases, earning more money will not necessarily fix the issues above. When some people begin to earn more money, they do not correct their existing behavior imbalance with money. Fixing the behaviors that lead to spending issues is the best way to solve money problems in the long run.
Make Small Changes
As with many other situations in life, improving your financial situation is best tackled in baby steps. When you make small changes to reduce the number of poor money decisions you make, you begin to move in the right direction toward a healthy relationship with your money. Big changes are difficult to make, so if you find yourself constantly short a small amount of money or overspending on frivolous items, taking small steps to correct those issues is a great place to start. For example, if you are constantly short a few bucks each month it might be a good idea to focus on a smaller debt item you can eliminate, saving your money once it is paid off without having to earn more money.
Don't Spend More than You Make
This seems like common sense, but many people still make this mistake. In most cases, overspending comes from a lack of a budget. The Balance points out that most money problems come from individuals not even realizing where their money goes each month. If you create a budget, you will be able to visualize the expenses you have each month and see the amount of income you must cover those expenses. This leads right into the final step.
Wants vs. Needs
Finally, with that budget in hand, you can look at your expenses and figure out wants vs. needs. When you identify the expenses that are wasted on wants, you will begin to save more money on your existing income and find it easier to afford the needs in your life.
For assistance coming up with a savings plan or retirement plan call Manhattan Ridge Advisors.
The views expressed are not necessarily the opinion of Social Advisors, and should not be construed directly or indirectly, as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed.