When one thinks of someone who is especially bad at money management, they often think of an individual with no restraint, who spends their money on frivolous items, has an empty savings account, and can easily max out a credit card. However, it is important to note that such an assertion is not necessarily true.
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to possess poor money management skills without the exorbitant spending habits. If this fact comes as a shock to you, perhaps we ought to outline some other signs that you are not as financially savvy as you once believed you were.
You do not keep track of your spending
Sure, you may know how much you spend on Netflix every month, or when the auto-withdrawal for your car insurance is posted, but how often do you keep track of your daily spending? Or, better yet, do you have a weekly budget in place to cap your discretionary spending? If the answer to one or both of those questions is no, your money management skills likely need improving.
To achieve that feat, take the time to identify exactly where your money is going, the current amounts in your checking and savings accounts, your credit card balances, and your general net worth. These insights will aid you in determining how to improve your spending habits and where those funds would be better allocated.
You are consistently paying late or overdraft fees
Getting hit with the above fees can be extremely frustrating, as you know your own forgetfulness is to blame. Break yourself out of this trend by utilizing a calendar, whether digital or physical, to serve as a reminder for when each specific bill is due. Committing to this new habit may be difficult at first, but you will certainly see the difference in your bank account each month, and may even thank yourself for making the change when you did.
You do not have an emergency fund
Once you have cut back on discretionary spending and wasting money on various fees, you ought to funnel those new-found funds into an emergency savings fund. Such an account would serve as your first line of defense in any financially stressful situation, such as the loss of a job, an unexpected repair, or a sudden medical bill. Although this amount typically varies from person to person, it would be wise of you to set aside enough money to cover three to six months of expenses.
Putting yourself on the right financial track is not a necessarily complicated task, though it does require commitment and perseverance, especially in your weakest moments. However, building a secure financial future is certainly not a decision you will live to regret, so the sooner you begin this undertaking, the better.