Trying to keep up with your bills, climb out of debt, and save money presents a challenge for many these days. The cost of living continues to rise but salaries remain stagnant and/or nonexistent. Wanting nothing more than to be able to provide for yourself and your family, it’s common to panic as you look for ideal solutions. The only problem is, that many people make decisions that ultimately make matters worse.
Using Credit Cards
Credit cards can be instrumental for making large or emergency purchases that you don’t have the upfront cash for. Be that as it may, they are not a solution to fixing your money problems. When you use credit cards to pay for everything without a source of income to pay it all back, it will catch up with you. You’ll max out cards, accrue higher fees, and ruin your credit in the process which automatically increases the cost of everything from insurance to housing.
Taking From Your Retirement Account
Retirement accounts are highly recommended to help individuals save for life after they’re done working. When in need of something immediate, however, many people turn to these accounts for relief. They’re a lot easier to get approved for than a traditional loan and, at the time, it seems like the right thing to do. The only problem is, if you don’t repay the loan in full within the predetermined timeframe, you end up with expensive tax penalties and other fees tacked on.
Everyone dreams of one day hitting it big. All it takes is one scratch-off, the right combination of numbers, or one hot night in the casino to turn their money troubles around. In theory, it sounds great. For a small investment of your own money, you have a chance at multiplying it exponentially. What most people don’t take into account, however, is all the money you waste in the process waiting on that one hit. Not to mention, gambling is one of the most common behavioral addictions. The adrenaline rush of winning becomes addictive causing you to want to chase it more and more. Eventually, you become obsessed with hitting it big at all costs. Gambling can ruin your personal and professional life and will only make your financial matters worse.
Robbing Peter to Pay Paul
When there’s not enough money to cover all the bills some people will resort to the robbing Peter to pay Paul concept. This is when you skip paying one bill in an effort to cover a more urgent one. Though this may work once or twice, after a while, this concept can cause you more financial distress. The bills that have been neglected or “robbed” will start to get larger, fees and penalties are added on, your credit is ruined, and, depending on the type of bill it is your services are discontinued.
Traditional bank loans are difficult to get approved for. They require you have decent credit, collateral, and a reliable job. They can also take a ton of time to process. When dealing with a financial emergency, it is common for people to turn to online lenders instead. Short-term loans such as payday loans have become increasingly popular. Eligible applicants can get a few hundred or thousand bucks in their account within one business day. With no credit checks and a quick approval process, it seems like a great way to handle your finances fast.
The issue with short-term loans, however, is that the interest rates are sky high. There are also associated fees that make taking out the loan very costly. If the loan is not repaid within 14 days (typically by your next paycheck), those fees add up quickly leaving you with more debt than you started with.
Ignoring Bills Altogether
When money gets really tight people will completely ignore their debts in an effort to cover their immediate needs. As these credit card bills, medical bills, and loans are ignored, however, it makes things worse financially. It starts with late fees and higher interest, but if the bills are ignored long enough it can result in lawsuits and/or having your possessions confiscated to cover the costs.
Managing your finances isn’t always easy. When you have more expenses than income or have fallen on hard times, it can be easy to become desperate to find a way out. Before trying any of the “solutions” listed above, stop and think about the consequences that could occur if you don’t have a foolproof plan. Instead of making matters worse, it is often best to work with a financial expert, credit counseling agency, or look for local programs and seek assistance.