While some debt in life is unavoidable and even necessary – think about mortgages, for example – there are plenty of other types of debt that can end up causing more harm than good. Therefore, you want to do everything you can to avoid this second type of debt. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which we are encouraged to spend more than we have, which can easily end up spiraling out of control. So, in the following blog post, we are going to present you with some of the ways in which you can live a life that is as free of debt as possible. This way, you can enjoy financial stability that is not being continually undermined by having to make interest repayments.
Be Careful with Credit Cards
If used properly, credit cards can be an invaluable tool. They can help you to pay for sudden costs or larger purchases, they help you to build up a good credit score, and there are often benefits involved such as cash back, etc. However, if used irresponsibly, they can end up being extremely risky to your long-term financial health. If you don’t keep making the minimum monthly repayment cost, this can end up negatively impacting your credit score, and you are going to be hit by charges. If you are going to use credit cards, you should aim to pay off the balance in full each and every month. If you are not able to do this, the least that you can do is make the minimum repayment. People are often being offered credit cards, so only take them out if you are certain that you can afford to make the necessary repayments. Interest-free credit is another common offer that people receive, but you should only get this if you are sure that you are going to pay it off at the right time. Used appropriately, it can be a highly useful tool to add to your financial arsenal.
Avoid High-Interest Loans
Sometimes, a loan may be a necessary part of life. For example, if you decide to start a business, taking out a business loan can help you to get it off the ground. You may need financial support in this venture, so check out yelp reviews of Morgan Stanley financial advisor. However, there are plenty of other high interest loans that can be extremely risky and counterproductive to your long-term financial health. Just think about payday loans. If they can be avoided, you are certainly better off doing so as they can end up being a barrier to getting out of the red and into the black. Before you think about taking one out, you should explore all the different other options that are available to you.
Monitor Your Outgoings
The most obvious way that you can get into debt is that your outgoings overtake how much money is flowing into your account each and every month. Essentially, this means that you are going to slip into debt – whether this happens quickly or slowly. For this reason, it is always a good idea to make a household budget, even if this may seem something of an old-fashioned thing to do. A good rule that you should bear in mind is to estimate your maximum possible outgoings against your minimum estimated income. There could always be months in which your income will go down. Also, there are months when your expenses will go up. Just think about the winter months when your heating and electricity costs can skyrocket. If you use this method, you reduce the risk of there being any unexpected surprises that hit you at the end of the month.
Hire Professional Help
There are some situations where professionals with experience in money matters can be invaluable to your long-term financial health. For example, if you run a business, hiring an accountant can prove to be the perfect way of keeping track of your money, as well as making savings on tax, etc. If you have more money to deal with, you can look into Morgan Stanley wealth advisor reviews. Even people who have access to a lot of money can find themselves in difficulties if it is not managed properly. Even if you don’t need any professional support with regards to money matters, another useful action you can take is to learn to talk about money with those around you. While it is still considered somewhat of a taboo subject in some circles, there is nothing to fear in talking about money with your nearest and dearest. Indeed, it can prove to be enormously beneficial in many ways.
Set Up an Account for Sudden Expenses
Unfortunately, sudden expenses are a fact of life, so setting up an account to mitigate them can prove to be an invaluable action that is worth taking in so many ways. Ideally, you should aim for the account to range somewhere between three and six months of living expenses. This way, you know that you have a comfortable safety net to deal with any major fallout. For example, if you lose your job, it is nice to have something to fall back on while you get on your feet. If you don’t have an account of this kind, it is all too easy to get into a situation of high debt. This is simply down to the fact that you may then have to start taking out loans to cover your regular living costs. Create an automated system in which money is channeled straight from your pay check into your emergency bank account. This way, you are ready to deal with any sudden expenses that may occur for any reason.
Relearn the Art of Saving
In years gone by, when you couldn’t afford something, it would have been perfectly normal to save money until you could. In our modern world, we have been encouraged to live beyond our means. However, relearning the art of saving up for a purchase can prove to be a valuable action that is worth taking. During this time, it also gives you the opportunity to reflect and work out whether the thing that you are saving for is going to provide genuine value to your life. Many luxury items only bring a fleeting sense of happiness rather than longer-term fulfillment. You may find that there are ways to get what you are looking for at a cheaper rate. For example, if you are saving towards a new car, you may find that you are just as able to get by with a used vehicle. In fact, you could find that you are able to make other arrangements and rely on public transport, cycling, or walking. The world ahead of us seems to be moving in this environmentally friendly direction, so it is certainly worth getting a jump on this if possible.
Learn to Enjoy a More Frugal Lifestyle
For a long time, frugality has not been considered a ‘cool’ lifestyle, but it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your everyday enjoyments in life. For example, if you are paying for a monthly gym membership that you rarely use, exercising in the fresh air by running can prove to be a useful free alternative. If you pay for a barista-style coffee on a daily basis, you can save significantly in the long-run by making your coffee at home instead. There are plenty more little actions like this that can all add up to ensuring that you stay out of debt for the longest time possible. It is also a good idea to get into the habit of questioning every purchase that you make. Ask yourself whether or not this is something that you really need in your life, whether you have previously bought something similar, or if you are getting the most affordable price possible. It is often the case that you end up not wanting the thing as much as you had initially thought you would.
Embrace the Little Things in Life
A big part of staying debt-free is a shift in your attitude. This means embracing the little things in life as those that are going to provide you with the most benefits rather than assuming that you can simply buy happiness. For example, when you come to meet up with friends, you can have just as enjoyable a time going to one of your houses rather than a fancy bar or a restaurant where the food and drink costs and arm and a leg. In our world, which is very much driven by capitalism and consumption, it can be all too easy to forget about the simple things in life and relearning the importance of them can prove to be a major revelation.
Talk About Money Issues
We have already discussed how useful talking about money can be with a professional, such as looking at a Financial Advisor Twitter, but you can also receive plenty of benefits by discussing money with those who are nearest and dearest in your life. For example, your partner, your parents, and/or your children. Often, debt tends to accumulate in the darkness, and if you are suffering from some sort of serious financial situation, it makes sense that you deal with it at the earliest possible opportunity. It is often the case that the people closest to you will be highly supportive and will help to offer you a clear route out of your crisis. Sometimes, this will involve some advice around changing your regular financial habits. On other occasions, it may be that you need some more serious financial intervention. For example, if you have a problem with gambling, it is often the case that you need professional support to get it dealt with and get yourself back on track.
Automate Your Finances
A big reason why people’s financial situations can end up in a bad place is that they accumulate late charges and high interest repayments as a result of not paying their bills on time. We live in a world which is very much geared towards utilizing modern technology, so it makes sense that you automate your finances where possible. This way, you don’t have to worry about paying your bills on time as it will already be taken care of. It can also be useful to try this technique when it comes to your savings account, too. This way, you are not tempted to spend the money that otherwise would have been earmarked for your savings.
Stick to an Allowance
While it may feel like being on an allowance is something quite childlike, it can also reap its rewards in adulthood as well. So, judge the amount that you should be spending on a daily basis and set an amount based on how much you are earning. There is something quite satisfying about imposing spending limits on yourself which you stick to as closely as you possibly can. Of course, there may be occasions on which you need to make adjustments to this allowance, so be flexible where necessary.
By following the steps above, you can go a long way towards enjoying a life that is free of the bad kind of debt that can be so damaging in such a wide range of ways. Essentially, one of the things that financial advice has in common is maintaining a strong sense of discipline. It also advocates asking for help when you need it – whether this is from a Morgan Stanley financial advisor or simply a friend or family member.
Finally, it is about making the kind of lifestyle switch that can be so enormously beneficial in so many ways of appreciating the little things in life and not getting caught in the trap of valuing financial wealth too highly. Of course, all of these things are long-term habits rather than short-term fixes, so you need to be ready to put in the kind of commitment that ensures that you are successful in all your goals.