Most people don’t realize just how ‘broke’ they are until it becomes a pivotal point in their life. Financial stress hits us all at least one time or another in our lives—living from paycheck to paycheck, having to borrow money from family members, or simply just not having the money. If you are realizing that you are constantly remaining broke, it may be time to stop, and ask yourself a few evaluating questions.
We’re giving you 5 questions to ask yourself if you are constantly broke and just can’t seem to figure out why.
1.Do I even know where my money is going?
This is probably one of the most important questions to ask yourself once you begin to see a consistent pattern in your spending habits. One of the fastest and easiest ways to gain control of your finances is to know exactly where your money is going. Looking back at your bank statements, and adding up how much money is being spent on certain things such as gas, bills, entertainment, and eating out—you’d be extremely surprised as to how much money you’re spending on things you could make at home instead. This first question can also be very beneficial and enlightening when trying to cut back as well. Look at it like this, you want to be able to tell your money where to go instead of it telling you where it went.
2. Am I living within my means?
Sometimes living within your means can be extremely difficult when you’re constantly being surrounded by so many tempting ventures. Living outside of your financial capability will for sure leave you broke. You want to make sure that your necessity bills (house bills, car, and rent) are affordable based on your financial income. Don’t buy things you truly can’t afford just to keep up with the Jones’. “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like,” couldn’t be more spot on when you’re not living within your means.
3. Is my monthly income enough?
After you pay all of your monthly bills and you realize you barely have anything left over to save or even reward yourself with, then you may not be generating enough income. Possibly looking into a higher paying job or even a second job will help alleviate the feeling of living paycheck to paycheck and barely getting by. If your current income is not able to comfortably carry you through life, you need to make some changes ASAP.
4. Am I saving money each month?
Ask yourself if you are saving enough money—or saving anything at all. There is absolutely nothing worse than having to live from check to check and being stuck in an emergency and not being able to financially take care of it. If you get paid bi-weekly, set aside a minimum amount from each paycheck—you’ll begin to realize that at the end of each month, this quickly adds up, and will be worth it once you have an established savings.
5. Have I established a financial budget?
The word financial budget is a drag within itself, but it’s very important to establish! Budgeting your monthly income and immediately designating where your money will go before you even receive it, is something that a lot us don’t do or even know how to do. There are several office supply stores that sell budget planners, which makes it that much more easier to create one—all you have to do is fill it in! Create a monthly budget for your income, and you’ll begin to realize just how less broke you’ll be.
Finances can be one of the most stressful things to endure in life, but if you begin to take control of your money (and not let it control you), make responsible and profitable decisions, and SAVE, you will reap all of your benefits, and build a great habit to pass along to future generations to come.