Do you feel like there’s never enough money at the end of the month? Do you put on a smile even though your stomach is in knots? Why is it that everyone else seems to be financially stable and you’re struggling to pay the bills? Let’s explore the common money problems and learn why you’re plagued with them.
Single or Married?
Before we dig deeply into the issues of money problems, it’s important for me to note that there is a huge difference between being single and married in the world of personal finance.
If you are single, you control 100% of your financial decisions! If you want to stop living from paycheck to paycheck and get out of debt, you (and only you) have to make that choice. From there, it’s merely a game of mental strength and discipline. It can be difficult, but in all honesty, you’ve got it easy.
Now, there are quite a few people that have the privilege of being married (I’m one of them, which is why I used the word, “privilege” :)). Marriage is often a wonderful thing, but the great majority of marital disagreements are about money.
One of you might have the genius idea of getting out of debt and developing a future of financial freedom; however, if the other just wants to live like a millionaire now, then there is little chance that the spending will stop.
Hopefully, both you and your spouse are willing to change your lifestyle in order to transform your broken down financials into positive assets and investments. If this is where you are in your lives, congratulations! It’s time to alleviate your money problems.
Are You Overspending?
Many of us would immediately answer, “Of course not! We’re pinching pennies every day!”, but be honest with yourself. Answer these questions with a “yes” or “no”.
- Did you go out to eat more than 4 times last month (including fast food)?
- Do you ever buy coffee from your local coffee-chain or from the gas station in the morning?
- Do you spend more than $150 on groceries per person per month?
- Do you spend more than $50 on clothes each month (per person)?
- Do you have a vehicle that is worth more than $6,000?
- Do you avoid discount clothing stores because they are “below your standards”?
- Have you made more than one purchase that exceeded $500 this year?
- Do you avoid using coupons (perhaps it embarrasses you or you think it’s a hassle)
- Do you have a vacation planned that will cost you more than $2,000?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I would label you as an “overspender”. Also, if you answered, “I don’t know” to any of these questions, chances are that you are spending more than necessary in that category. If you don’t know how much you’re paying for food or clothes per month, I bet you’re dishing out almost double the amount you need to!
Are You Earning Enough?
If you truly are pinching pennies and living frugally, but still can’t make ends meet, then perhaps your earnings are just too low. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average household income is about $50,000 per year.
If you are married and are making less than $50,000 in before-tax income, you are considered below average. It may be time to search for other income avenues besides your primary job.
There’s a few handy pieces of finance and budgeting advice found here.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.