Why discretionary spending with debt is a bad idea


Never use debt to fund discretionary spending.” ~Roy Sutton

When you’re young you really want to enjoy life, right? That’s perfectly reasonable, surely? You’re fit, you’re healthy, you’re full of energy and there will never be a better time than now to enjoy yourself. If you can’t enjoy yourself when you’re young, when can you enjoy yourself?

If you’re lucky enough to have lots of money then good luck to you. Live life like there’s no tomorrow. The problem is most people are not quite so lucky. Most people are constrained financially, at least to some degree.

Equally for most young people, earnings are quite low when they start out on the road to independence and there are bills that can’t be avoided.

Everyone needs somewhere to live. We all need food to eat. We all need heating and lighting as well. Then there are all those taxes and municipal charges that must be paid too. So for most people there’s probably not a lot left at the end of the month for discretionary spending.

The temptation then is to borrow money so you can have a good time. Going into debt to fund discretionary spending is a really bad idea. So don’t be tempted.

Spend money you don’t have on anything that is not absolutely essential and you will be on the road to the poor house.

Some things you cannot live without. For instance if you want somewhere to live then you’ll probably have the need to buy a house. Unless you’re a millionaire, buying a house will mean a mortgage which is a form of debt. However that is good debt in the sense that you’ll be buying a home which is also likely to be an appreciating asset. So on that chances are you won’t lose.

Interest rates on mortgages are low because the mortgage provider will secure the debt against the property. You fail to pay and they’ll take the property. In this case risk for them would be low, so that is reflected in the interest rates charged.

Debt for discretionary spending is quite different. That will be unsecured debt and so interest rates on that debt will be very high. If the debt is on a credit card then chances are you’ll be paying in excess of 30%. If the debt is in the form of a ‘payday loan’ then interests rates can be anything from 1,000% to as much as 4,000% or even more. Even a small loan can quickly become a massive debt due to the effect of compound interest.

If you’d like to take a holiday or buy a car or have a party or buy the latest electronic gizmo, then save up for it first. For items like these, you only buy once you have the money in the bank to cover the cost.

Debt when it is unsecured is always very expensive and once you get sucked into a large debt hole it can be a real struggle to get out again. Debt enslaves you; it is stressful; and it will keep you awake at night. The pleasure you might get from discretionary spending can quickly turn into a nightmare if it results in debt.

Getting into debt is easy; getting out again can be both difficult and painful. Don’t allow your better judgement to become clouded by your desire for a little pleasure. Everyone wants to have fun but don’t make the mistake of getting your kicks with money you don’t have.

However big the temptation; you will regret it later. Debt is a burden.

That of course is one opinion. What do you think? Your ideas and stories might help other people, so feel free to comment.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Why you should consider becoming self-employed

There are many ways to make money and they all have their merits. Get a job with a big corporation and potentially you’ll earn a decent income and enjoy a few fringe benefits too. Get a job in the public sector and the pay may not be quite so good but the pension scheme is usually the best you’ll find anywhere. The job will be fairly secure too. Become a wage slave in any sector and you’ll make a living. However unless you work on Wall Street or in the City of London, you’re unlikely to make a fortune. If your aim is to make serious money then you should consider becoming self-employed.

We live in an age in which becoming self-employed has never been easier or cheaper. As a result of the Internet there are so many opportunities that were simply not available to previous generations.

And initially you don’t even have to give up your day job. You can start your own business as a part-time venture and keep it that way until the income your business is generating for you is sufficient for you to live on. You can even start one business to generate extra cash and as it makes money you can invest that cash into bigger and potentially more profitable opportunities.

As an employee you’re trading your time for money and that’s fine. However if your firm does well, you’re unlikely to benefit significantly from any extra profit they make. You might get a bonus but regardless of personal contribution, it’s more likely to be an incidental sum rather than life-changing money.

With your own business you can be making money whilst you’re sleeping. In fact it you want to get rich you have to start making money whilst you sleep. I can now hear you asking, but how do you make money whilst you sleep?

Let me give you some examples of online businesses that you could start with little or no money and start making money whilst you sleep:-

Selling Products Online:

Through the Internet potentially you can reach most of the people on the planet. Now think about that for a second. If you create a website or an online store then billions of people around the world will have access to it. And those people can access it whilst you’re asleep. So the potential is there for you to create something that can be generating money for you 24 hours a day 365 days every year.

Still not convinced? Let me give you some examples of businesses you could start to achieve this goal:-

Amazon:

If you’ve ever bought anything from Amazon you’ll probably have noticed that they are not always the actually seller of the item you’re seeking to purchase. Other suppliers sell their own products through Amazon via what is known as Amazon Marketplace.

And when third party suppliers sell products via Amazon they can also use a service known as Fulfillment by Amazon or FBA.

This means if you’re the seller, you simply deliver your stock of products to Amazon and they’ll handle all the logistics associated with product delivery to the buyer.

Fulfillment by Amazon:

So if you don’t want to handle your own packing, postage and delivery you can get Amazon to handle it for you. You can do it yourself of course but the point is that you don’t have to. You can just focus on finding products for your customers and Amazon will do the rest.

And remember this; those products don’t have to be new. They can be second hand items too. If you can find a suitable niche in second hand products there’s money to be made.

Consider this example. Each year graduating students have textbooks to sell. Essentially they just want to get some cash back for books they’re unlikely to read ever again. Shrewd entrepreneurs recognize that there’ll be a ready market for those very textbooks at the start of the next academic year. So they offer selling students a quick way to turn their textbooks into a little cash. And then buying students will be sold those same textbooks at a rate which will save them money on the price for the same book had it been bought new.

You can set up a website to attract book sellers and then through Amazon Marketplace the books you’ve bought cheap  can be sold at a profit. In that way you can create a profitable second hand book business.

You could repeat the same trick with music such as vinyl records and CDs, as well as films on DVD. Second-hand smartphones and other technology items could be another possibility.

Alternatively you could source your own products, e.g. skin care products, cosmetics, household products, et cetera, and then sell those via Amazon.

Plenty of people have created successful businesses with that approach. 

eBay:

When people sell stuff at a boot sale or a yard sale, they usually sell at very low prices simply because they price items for a quick sale. This is stuff they need to get rid of as quickly as possible for whatever reason. And in that there is a potential opportunity for you dear reader.

You buy these items on the cheap and you then resell them on eBay for a profit. More importantly people sometimes sell valuable stuff at boot sales and yard sales for silly prices because they didn’t realise the true value of the item.

On the British television programme Flog It, I saw a woman sell an antique item at auction for £800 having originally bought that item at a boot sale for just £1. That is a very nice profit. Yes such examples would be the exception but shrewd people can make money this way and eBay is a great vehicle for doing so.

Affiliate Marketing:

Essentially affiliate marketing is commission only selling.

Linked with the idea of Content Marketing, what this means is that if you can direct traffic to a product seller’s website which results in a sale then you will get paid a commission for that sale.

The amount of commission can be as low as 4% from the Amazon Affiliate Program to as much as 75% from some items offered through programs like Clickbank and Commission Junction.

How do you achieve this in practice?

Well despite its relatively low commission rates Amazon offers the easiest opportunity for the beginner. You sign up for the Amazon Affiliate Program and then identify a suitable niche which interests you.

Let’s say that niche is sports shoes for women. The niche does need to be focused and quite narrow. The category Shoes would be a bit too wide. You need to think about categories for which people will be searching via Google and other search engines.

So once you have a niche, you then create your own website publishing reviews of a variety of those sports shoes for women. And those reviews don’t have to be your own necessarily. They could be a summary of various reviews you’ve read elsewhere with an overall rating based on what others have been saying.

Creating a review summary by curating input from other sources is legitimate as long as you acknowledge the different sources which form the basis of your article. Essentially you’re doing the hard work for your readers and providing them with a summary and most importantly links to Amazon to make their purchase.

Why review sites are a good idea:

Review sites work with affiliate marketing because they capture buying intent and that’s important. If someone searches for a review for an item on Google then the chances are they will buy if the reviews prove to be favourable.

When producing your review articles the crucial action is to embed affiliate links within the text. Getting readers to click on those links and taking them to Amazon is how you’ll make money. If they buy within 24 hours of clicking on a link then you will get paid a commission.

Amazon commissions vary from 4% to around 10% depending on the number and type of sales for which you are credited each month. So in choosing a niche you must think about product value too. Generate low value sales and you won’t make much. However sales for items with a bigger price tag can prove very lucrative.

That said generating some low value sales can be a way of pushing subsequent bigger ticket sales into a higher commission rate. So don’t ignore them completely.

Content Marketing:

Essentially content marketing is the idea of publishing web content in order to provide the means for promoting products and services. Content marketing is closely linked with affiliate marketing but not exclusively linked to so. There are two types of content you can consider, as follows:-

(1) Written Content:

For instance, if you’re producing regular content and publishing it on your own blog then there’s the potential to generate an income through advertising.

Now selling advertising space on your blog or website is only possible if you have substantial amounts of traffic. If you’re just starting out you will not reach those levels for quite some time. However what is known as pay per click (CPC) advertising could generate money for you right from the start.

Perhaps the best known CPC program is one offered by Google Adsense. You sign up for this program, then embed Google’s links in your blog and they will insert advertising on your blog that is relevant to your content.

Every time a reader clicks on an Adsense advertisement you will get paid and it’s not purchase dependent. Readers only have to click for you to get paid.

The trick with Adsense is to have a very narrow focus for your blog. Let’s say your blog is about how to keep chickens and deal with blights like red mite. You’ll attract search engine generated traffic from people desperate to deal with the problem of red mite. Google will insert ads from companies offering products that will help with this problem and desperate people are likely to click on those ads to see what’s on offer. They click you get paid.

As long as your subject matter is focused and narrow, and ideally based on a highly searched keyword or phrase, then this can be a way to generate decent money.

(2) Video Content:

Another way to benefit from Google Adsense is to create your own YouTube channel, produce videos and again insert links from Google so that relevant pay per click advertising will appear on and around the video. Again if people click then you get paid.

Write eBooks:

Devices such as the iPad, the Kindle and other eReaders, provide you with the opportunity to self-publish your own eBooks and sell them through Amazon.

You may not be able to come up with the next Harry Potter work of fiction but there is good money to be made writing ‘How To’ books on just about any subject.

They don’t even need to be that long either. As little as 50 pages or 8,000 – 10,000 words covering a topic of general interest can be enough to produce something that will sell for one dollar or one pound sterling. That might not seem like a lot but sell 1,000 of them and you’ve made a decent sum of money.

Write something on an evergreen topic and it could sell for years. If you then write several eBooks like this, again on evergreen topics, that could become a decent income stream.

And what do I mean by evergreen? These are topics for which people have always looked for solutions. That might be something like tips for good time management or how to lose weight, et cetera.

And even if you’re not an expert you can research the necessary information and pull it together for people. Essentially you will be doing the work for them.

Develop Apps:

If you can learn to write code, and you can learn to write code, then you can also learn how to develop apps. If you can develop a killer app and sell it through the App Store then you can make serious money.

You’d love to but you don’t know where to start, right? Well there are endless videos and tutorials on YouTube and from these you can learn how to code and develop apps. Yes there’s some work to be done upfront of course. However a good app will generate money for years to come. Just think about apps like Candy Crush Saga. Produce something which becomes a real fad and there’s serious money to be made.

11 things to bear in mind:

If becoming self-employed appeals to you and you fancy making money as an online entrepreneur then here are 11 things you should bear in mind:-

  1. Know your target customers.
  2. Know your target niche or niches
  3. Know your strengths and interests?
  4. Apply your strengths and interests to serve customers
  5. Recognise that different markets need different strategies.
  6. Make sure you’re capturing buying intent.
  7. Create an image that will appeal to your target audience.
  8. With a website, traffic matters.
  9. Search engine optimization (SEO) will bring traffic.
  10. Getting back links from other websites will help with SEO.
  11. Be determined, work hard and learn as you go.

6 things you must do when you’re self-employed:

(1) Register with the tax authorities: Make money by all means but pay your taxes too. Upsetting the taxman is not a good idea dear reader wherever you live. In some countries tax regimes are more benign than in others but it’s always better to keep the tax authorities happy.

(2) Register for sales taxes and VAT: Again it’s all about paying your dues. If you do well financially then you have an obligation to share some of your wealth with the rest of society. Taxes are the price we pay to live in society and you can’t have a successful business without the society in which you live.

(3) Get a separate business bank account: Keep your business activities completely separate from your personal life. This is very important.

(4) Keep accurate and up-to-date records: You’ll need these in any dialogue with the tax authorities. You don’t want to end up paying more in tax than was necessary. Paying your dues is one thing; overpaying your dues is careless.

(5) Insure your business: When you’re in business, you’re required by law to have certain insurance policies in place. Exactly which policies you need depends on the nature of your business activities. Make sure you know your obligations and act accordingly.

(6) Keep it simple: In the early days you don’t want to be spending money you don’t have on things that are initially unnecessary. So keep everything as simple as possible for as long as possible.

Conclusion:

Self-employment can be an attractive proposition and for most people it is the only way you will ever make a fortune. It’s not easy of course but it can be done and you don’t have to ditch your day job to get started.

With an online business you can start small and build it up over time. And you can mix and match options. For instance you can start a website for making money with both Amazon affiliate marketing and Google Adsense.

A good review website can become quite profitable and once it’s generating revenues on ‘autopilot’ it can become an asset which you can sell for serious money. There are plenty of examples where such sites have sold for 6 and even 7 figure sums.

Don’t underestimate the challenges of course but it can be done and people do. Why not you? Think carefully about how best you can exploit the opportunities before you and then have a go.

Good luck and may you be the next Richard Branson.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Dealing with debt and curbing your overspending

Do you struggle when dealing with debt? Perhaps you’re looking for ways to curb your overspending. Certainly the burden of debt can be stressful. Surely life would be easier if you could find a way to reduce your debt burden? The problem is where do you start?

If you’re serious about dealing with debt then a good start point is to take a close look at what you’re spending. There are things you must have like a roof over your head, heating and light, and food on the table. Then there are those things you buy that you really could live without. Even for things you must have you can often overspend on these items in you’re not careful.

It is a fact that overspending is one of the main reasons why people get themselves into debt. You’re in the shopping mall or on the internet and you see something that is so tempting and you can’t help yourself. Buying is so easy with your credit card and so you do without considering whether you really need it or whether you can truly afford it.

Well that’s a habit you must change if ever want to be in control of your money and your life. Yes, it is a hard habit to break if it’s been part of the way you live your life for so long. That’s understandable but it’s not impossible. It can be done and it’s an important step on the road to dealing with debt.

So here are a few simple steps to help you to stop spending, start saving and live a life geared toward achieving financial freedom.

1. Admit you have a problem

The first step to curb your overspending habit is to admit that you have a problem. You can’t eliminate a problem until you recognize you have one.

Once you admit to yourself that you have a problem then you need to understand where your money is going. Unless you make a point of identifying where your money is going then it will simply disappear without you knowing where it’s gone.

Keep a journal to record your spending on a daily basis to keep track of everything you spend. Write it down and at the end of each week review what you’ve spent and where your money has gone. You might find that this is a real eye–opener for you.

With this approach you will be able to see what you’re spending on stuff that may not be absolutely necessary. Then it will be easier to develop a clear and concise spending plan whereby you start living within our means. Having a plan can then be the basis by which you start developing the self-discipline to allow you to break your overspending habit.

2. Make financial goals

In developing your spending plan you must also set some realistic financial goals for you and, assuming you have one, your family.

One goal should be to ‘pay yourself first’. What does this mean? It means as soon as you get paid you set a small proportion of your income aside immediately. You could set aside say 10% of your income. That can be used to reduce your debt burden initially and later, when your situation has improved, for savings each month.

By setting money aside when you get paid, it’s a bit like taxes and other deductions against you pay. They all get taken off and you get used to living on what’s left. Putting something aside is an important part of any personal financial spending plan.

Keep your financial goals in mind each and every time you’re tempted to make an impulse purchase or overspend on something you can live without. This will encourage you to make better spending decisions.

And when you’ve reached one of your financial goals, don’t forget to give yourself a little reward. Don’t go overboard of course but achieving a goal will make the reward all the sweeter and it will encourage you in the development of good money habits.

3. Cut up your credit cards

Credit cards can be a convenient medium for making payments but they can also be weapons of mass wealth destruction. When you have a serious debt problem don’t take a credit card out shopping.

Yes, they are a big part of today’s culture and it is might seem hard to imagine life without one. However studies have shown that people spend a larger amount when using a credit card because it doesn’t register with them that they are spending real money. And that’s why they are dangerous.

Essentially using a credit card is simply postponing the inevitable. It is actually real money and eventually the bill for your purchases will have to be paid.

So take the impulse out of shopping and start planning for purchases ahead of time by saving up the cash. You will be surprised at how much you save by not using plastic.

4. Seek out support

When you’re trying to break a habit, it is important to surround yourself with good people who will encourage you and steer you in the right direction when you’re tempted.

That means when you’re going shopping make sure you take someone with you who’s not afraid to remind you that you don’t need whatever it is you’re thinking of buying. Someone you trust who will be your conscience, if you like. Someone who knows your aims and will help you achieve them.

If there is someone who will hold you accountable for your actions, who forces you to recognize your bad habits then this will make your financial goals much easier to accomplish.

5. Take up a hobby

Our shopping habits often stem from the fact that we are simply bored. This is particularly true with shopping online. You’re sitting at home bored so you pick up your iPad or similar tablet and start browsing. Sites like Amazon are very good at closing a sale once they’ve got you. It’s all so tempting. And we’re all guilty of impulse shopping on the internet, at least to some degree.

So next time you’re bored, find something else to do. You could take a walk, go to the gym for some exercise, watch a film, read a book, you could set up a blog and share your thoughts with the world or perhaps just volunteer to help a charity. There are plenty of other possibilities, so just do something other than shopping that appeals to you.

In short, take up a hobby or two and keep your money in the bank.

Conclusion

This is not an exhaustive list but these few tips should help you to curb your overspending and develop better habits with money. If you change your ways you can start winning with money.

Don’t try to ‘boil the ocean’ just take small steps on a daily basis and this will help you kick your impulsive shopping habits. You need to start thinking about where your money is going and where you’d like it to be.

Start today and you’ll be a smart shopper in no time. With a little self-discipline you can go from being a complete spendthrift to becoming a super-saver quicker than you ever thought possible. Become a super-saver and one day you will achieve financial freedom. Achieve that and your life will be a lot sweeter and a lot less stressful.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

How you develop a Millionaire Mindset: Self-Discipline and Money

Financial success and whether you can achieve it does depend on the way you think about money. How you think about money matters, including the way you look at the debt you incur. You need to develop a millionaire mindset if you want to enjoy financial freedom. Money is a precious resource and you should learn to use it wisely.

We are all brought up from an early age to view money in a certain way and the way we are conditioned by our upbringing tends to stay with us unless we choose to change our thinking. You may have been brought up with poor money habits but that doesn’t mean you can’t change them. You can but it takes some effort from you.

If you are to start winning at the game of money then it starts with getting rid of any false ideas you may have and which may be holding you back. Your mind is a powerful weapon and it can help or hinder you on the road to financial freedom.

So reflect honestly on the way you think about money. Figure out exactly what money means to you and how you want it to affect your future.

What are your financial goals? Can you visualize yourself as prosperous and wealthy? Alternatively do you focus more on the negative aspects of your life, perhaps thinking it will never change?

Negative thoughts beget negative thoughts:

Think negatively about money and you’re unlikely ever to have much of it. Essentially you think of yourself as lacking in value and therefore unworthy of having that pot of gold of your own.

Thinking negative thoughts about your future will result in a future for you that is unexciting at best. It doesn’t have to be but to achieve anything it all starts with positive thinking. No one ever got anywhere with negative thinking.

Money isn’t everything, of course. However it is up there with oxygen for a life worth living. It won’t solve every problem, of course, but it does make living a little more comfortable and agreeable. Money can cause more harm than good on occasions but it can also be a force for good too.

So what do you want for your financial future and what does money mean to you and your life? Figuring that out would be a good start.

You don’t have to be a financial whizz-kid:

Money might seem intimidating at times but it’s actually quite simple. It’s just the way we keep score. Money is the medium through which value is stored. It’s easier than a barter system. We do stuff for other people and we’re paid. We can then spend the money we receive at our own convenience to live our own lives.

Money comes into our lives and money goes out again. The trick is to ensure that money in always exceeds money out. In other words you live within your means. So pay attention to the numbers and check them regularly. This is not complicated mathematics. If you can master basic addition, subtraction and percentages that’s about as complicated as it gets. You don’t need to be a mathematics major.

Your success in managing your money and improving your financial skills will depend on you taking small daily steps to gain control and manage your finances carefully. You don’t need to be a city whizz-kid, you just need to care enough to want to improve your situation.

Just keep at it and don’t give up.

Financial discipline won’t necessarily happen overnight but slow and steady progress can be achieved which will improve your situation over time and help you progress down the road to wealth and financial freedom.

If you are consistent in improving your daily money habits then eventually good money habits will become a part of your routine.

Not allocating the time is certainly a crime:

Managing your money and planning for your financial future doesn’t require a lot of time but it does require some of your time and you must set some time aside regularly to ensure that you don’t lose sight of your second most important resource.

For the record; your most important resource is time. You can always get more money but you can never get more time.

Your financial success will be limited only by the amount of time, dedication, attention and hard work you put into to looking after your money and improving your financial education.

Many of the world’s wealthiest people will tell you they didn’t get rich overnight. Unless they were lucky enough to inherit serious money, wealthy people spent years giving it their all and managing their money wisely.

Achieving financial freedom is a worthy goal for everyone. However it you want to be wealthy you’re going to have to work hard to accomplish your goal and allocate time regularly to keeping track of what you earn, what you save, what you invest and the performance of your investments.

Even if you have more modest goals like becoming debt free or building a nest egg for your retirement, you can’t avoid allocating a little time to the process on a regular basis.

Fail to put in the time and you’ll experience very limited success, if any at all.

Everyone has a choice:

Never assume your situation cannot be improved. It can, albeit it will require effort and discipline from you.

Regardless of your situation now, you do have a choice. You can choose to say, enough is enough. Your life can be better if you choose to make it better.

It really doesn’t matter how many mistakes you’ve made in the past. Your past mindset in relation to money doesn’t matter either. The ability to create a better future for you remains in your hands. All it takes is firstly a vision that your future can be better than your past. Secondly you need the will to start making incremental changes and improving things slowly.

You don’t need to take giant strides and set the world on fire. Small incremental steps are fine as long as you keep heading in the direction of your financial goals.

Your mind is a powerful tool which can make or break your success. Wealthy people, particularly self-made rich people, use what is known as the millionaire mindset. This is simply a way of thinking in relation to money and the building of wealth.

Wealthy people don’t purchase items with unsecured and expensive debt. If they need something they usually save up for it first and then pay with cash for their purchases later.

Ironically they often give money regularly to people less fortunate than themselves too. Helping others can be a virtuous circle. Being kind to others can pay handsome dividends. Everyone really can be a winner.

Conclusion:

Develop a positive mindset in relation to money. You’re as entitled as the next person to create wealth from the value you add. Think positively and you will notice a huge change in your life and your finances. Work on developing a millionaire mindset.

Further Reading:

If you want to develop a millionaire mindset then three books you should read are as follows:-

The Millionaire Mind by Thomas J Stanley

This book explores the ideas, beliefs and behaviour that have enabled millionaires to build and maintain their fortunes. The author uncovers surprising answers, showing what it is that makes the wealthy prosper while others feel dejected and beaten by life. If you have an entrepreneurial mind you’ll find this book interesting. It will provide you with road maps on how millionaires found their niches.

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J Stanley & William D Danko

According to this book, almost anyone with a steady job can amass a fortune. The authors suggest that most people have it wrong about how you become wealthy. They suggest that wealth is the result of hard work and living within your means. This book identifies seven traits which people with wealth tend to possess. These traits can be learned it says and if you copy what the wealthy do then you can be wealthy too.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T Harv Eker

In this book you will learn how your childhood influences have shaped your financial destiny. You will also learn how to identify your own money blueprint and revise it not only to create success but, more importantly, to keep and grow your personal wealth. Finally you’ll be introduced to 17 specific ways rich people think and act. These include specific action steps for you to practice in order to increase your income and accumulate wealth. The essential message of this book is that if you think like rich people think and do what rich people do then there’s a very good chance that you will get rich too.

If wealth and achieving financial freedom is your aim then you should read these books. If you’d like to take a closer look at them then click on each of the embedded links above. I strongly recommend that you buy your own copies. I did and they have all proved to be extremely useful to me.

And don’t forget; if you don’t have time to read these books then buy the audio versions from Amazon and listen to them when you’re driving or on public transport. Again, click in the link in this paragraph.

Other Articles:

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Money and How to Get Rich

How to save money

© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

4 Signs your debt is out of control

Are you burdened with debt? If so, do you worry about how you’re going to pay the interests payments, let alone reduce the debt? Would you say your debt is out of control? Then again, perhaps you’re not sure whether it’s out of control or not?

Certainly debt is becoming an epidemic leaving those in its wake feeling desperate. It is a fact that debt enslaves you and the burden of debt will keep you awake at night. And of course debt can be extremely stressful, particularly when it feels like everything is out of control.

There are few things more terrifying than waking up each day knowing you owe thousands of dollars, pounds, dinars or yen in debt. Whether it’s credit card debt, car payments, student loans or any of the various forms of unsecured debt if will take you a lifetime to pay off and that’s a terrible burden to bear.

It you have any concerns about the levels of debt you bear, you’re not alone dear reader. This is a problem which affects many people from single moms struggling to make ends meet to CEOs of major corporations. Debt affects people from all walks of life. And it’s easy to get into a situation where suddenly you realize that you’re in over your head.

Now you may be wondering if there are signs that will suggest whether you’re heading for disaster?

If you are to enjoy peace of mind and a lifestyle lived within your means, then you must first acknowledge that you have a problem. Which in turn means you must resolve to dig your way out of the hole you’re in before it’s too late.

So what are the signs you must consider? Here are four:-

1. Living Payday to Payday:

Do you find yourself having no money immediately after you’ve been paid?

Perhaps this is an experience you’ve had recently? Your money comes in and your money goes straight out again. The result is you left wondering where it all went and why.

A recent statistic suggested that around 76% of Americans live this way. Perhaps that’s an exaggerated figure but probably not by much and it’s the same in many developed economies, people living beyond their means.

Now you work hard for your money don’t you? In that case, doesn’t it make sense to take control back and start managing your money wisely? Perhaps having a budget and living within your means?

2. Creditors are calling:

Ever had that experience where you owe people money and they’re knocking on your door demanding repayment? It’s not a nice experience that’s for sure. Collection calls can ruin your day and your reputation too.

Creditors call at the oddest hours because they want to ensure they catch you at home. They can often be aggressive and nasty too. This is stress you really don’t need.

If you get to the point where your bill has been sent to a debt collection agency because you can’t or won’t even make the minimum payment then you have a serious problem. This is when you know your life is getting into a real mess. And you really don’t need this much stress do you?

When creditors are calling this is a sign that your debt needs reducing and your household needs a budget.

It means you’re in a financial hole and so when you’re in a hole your first action must be to stop digging.

3. Impulse Spending:

Retailers love impulse spending and they have lots of tricks to bounce you into buying things on impulse. They place some item they know you can’t resist in a place you just can’t miss. You see it and you buy it. Well it’s hard to say No to your inner child, isn’t it? We all do it, occasionally.

The problem is if you buy stuff you don’t really need on impulse that’s money that could have been used to reduce your debt.

Impulse buys can lead to a mountain of debt if you’re not careful. The problem is you usually buy with a credit card which comes with very high interest rates. When you get the bill for your credit card if all you do is make minimum payment then the magic of compounding will very quickly turn a small debt into a large one.

If you can have your money budgeted out each month this can reduce the temptation for impulse buys because you have already told your money where it is going ahead of time.

It’s a good idea to know what you’re money is committed to and it’s an even better idea to say No to your inner child. Well it is if you what to avoid the stress that accompanies a debt burden.

4. Money Fights:

Possibly the greatest source of conflict in marriage is money, or lack of it.

Money fights tend to happen when you and your significant other are not on the same page regarding the flow of money in and out of the household.

Naturally this is a source of stress and frustration in the marriage and is one of the biggest causes of divorce today.

You both need to be on the same page where money is concerned. You both need to discuss money and make sure you agree a spending plan that will work for both of you, whilst minimizing the risk of incurring unnecessary debt. You should both know what to expect where money is concerned.

Conclusion:

If any of these signs sound familiar to you then it’s probably time to start thinking about how you can cut down on your spending and start getting rid of whatever debt burden you may have.

Dumping debt is not as hard as it may sound. It’s not easy of course but with careful planning and discipline it’s not difficult either.

A written budget is a good way to start pulling yourself up from the depths of debt despair. And you needn’t worry because there are plenty of resources out there to help you get started.

The hardest part is the change of mindset you’ll need. See yourself not as a spendthrift but as someone who chooses to manage and spend money wisely. Someone who lives according to a proper spending plan

If you stick to your spending plan you’ll be on the first leg of the journey towards a lifetime of financial freedom.

Financial freedom means no stress where money is concerned and not having to worry about how you’ll settle the next bill.

Financial freedom is peace of mind and that is wonderful thing. Even if you’re not there yet I’m sure you’ll recognize it as the ideal place to be.

Of course this is one opinion. What do you think? Do you have any suggestions of other signs people might consider? Do let us know. You could be of great service to other readers.

Other Articles:

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Powerful words change lives

11 tips for improving quality of life

© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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