Time flies so fast, and on most instances, so does your finances. And as the year comes to a close, most people would go wondering, “Where did all my money go”?
If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s time to come face to face with the facts and tackle your money issues head on. Here are five main reasons why you’re ending the year with little to no savings.
1. You didn’t live within your means. Yet again.
It happens even to the best of us. The first symptom of living paycheck to paycheck another is, more often than not, spending more money than what you’re making. You still haven’t found the right balance of discipline in keeping a budget, and separating your wants from needs.
The temptation of always wanting to keep up with the latest gadgets, the fear of missing out on events, and excuses of saving up later on have run you out. How do you change from merely surviving to thriving, you ask? It starts from learning to sacrifice and controlling your spending.
The short-lived excitement you get from purchasing your wants is nothing compared to the rewards of actually being more control of your finances and later on, being able to reward yourself through delayed gratification. You’ll come to see that refusing to continue the cycle of always not having enough money will create a positive effect on other aspects of your life too.
2. You’re stuck in debt.
There are a lot of factors that can get you stuck in debt. Whatever it may be, seek out favorable solutions that can end it once and for all. It could be finding a side job or business to earn extra money, or talking to your bank about adjusting your interests or loan terms so it’s easier to repay it.
Avoiding your debts or desperately trying to make a workaround by getting into another loan will only make your situation worse. Learning to set your priorities straight and not be driven by a high-consumption lifestyle or rash decisions will greatly empower you in getting out of debt.
3. You still haven’t found a way to earn extra income.
If your income falls short in meeting the demands of your lifestyle or debts, then it’s time to find a side job or set up a business. This will not only empower your wallet, but your credentials as well.
According to Jane Barratt, author of Your Salary Shouldn’t Be Your Only Source of Income: “You can earn more money by spending less. But you should also ask for that raise—and get a side hustle. It’s extra income, but more than that, it extends your marketability by demonstrating initiative and ensuring you have skills outside of your day job.”
For starters, level up by looking for online jobs which will allow you to improve your skills and marketability.
4. Savings wasn’t really your priority.
So the “pay yourself first” strategy didn’t inspire a change in your finances, for whatever reason. This is understandable when you get so focused on surviving, that you fail to see the bigger picture. Note that saving is not just about setting up funds for an emergency, but also about putting in a conscious effort to cut costs on your expenses whenever you can.
Start by planning ahead. Learn to set up a budget and really stick to it. Track your spending so you practice taking control of your money. Canvas, research, and stay updated on promos and discounts so you save more and keep some extra cash during times when your expenses are lower.
You’ll start seeing positive changes when you become proactive in your efforts to improve your finances.