You may think you have good money management skills, but there are tell-tale signs that your money management needs improving. Getting a handle on your personal finances can make your life a bit easier. You're less likely to live paycheck-to-paycheck, and you'll maintain a strong financial foundation. Here are seven signs you're bad at handling money, and ways to fix it.
1. You Have No Emergency Fund
How much do you have in the bank for a rainy day? If you don't have a cash cushion, there's a good chance you're not managing your money properly. You might be living above your means. Or you might overspend each month, which leaves little cash for saving. Going forward, always pay yourself first. When you get your paycheck, deposit money into your savings account and start building your cash cushion. Ideally, you should save at least 10% of your income.
2. You Pay All Your Bills Late
Late payments add up quickly. To avoid a penalty, always pay bills before or on your due date. To stop late payments, make a note of due dates as soon as your statements arrive. Set up automatic bill pay to make sure payments reach creditors by the due date.
3. You're Always Borrowing Money
If you never have enough cash to get through the month, it's time to revamp your finances. Get to the root of the problem. Are you overspending? Are you living above your means? Do you have a budget? If you have more bills than income, downsize and free up cash. But if you're simply overspending, creating a budget and reducing how much you spend in certain areas can ensure enough cash flow.
4. You Don't Know Where Your Money Goes
This is a top reason for overspending each month. This goes back to creating a monthly budget for yourself. A budget is a spending plan that guides your money. You can decide how much to spend in different categories, such as transportation, food, entertainment, etc. Balance your checking account on a regular basis to make sure you're not overspending, and make adjustments to your spending plan as needed
5. You're Getting Creditor Phone Calls
We're not perfect. Therefore, you might forget about a bill and a creditor may call your house. If this occurs on a regular basis, there's a good chance you're bad with managing your finances. Don't ignore creditor phone calls. If you don't have money, set up a payment arrangement to avoid a negative credit score or legal action. Also, only use a credit card if you can afford to pay off a charge in full by the next month.
6. You and Your Partner Fight about Money
If you're a big spender, you and your partner might have frequent fights about money. This is especially true if your spending habits strain the household finances. Rather than get defensive, listen and acknowledge your mistakes. Work with your partner to learn new money management skills. If you don't resolve the issue, conflict may continue.
7. You Have a Bad Financial Reputation
If your family or friends feel you're bad with money, their opinions might be true. Get advice from those who know how to manage their money, and then take steps to reverse your bad financial reputation. A budget, careful spending and learning good credit management provides the skills you need to fix your financial situation.
Nobody's born knowing how to manage their money, but through trial and error you can learn techniques to build a strong financial foundation. What are other sign of bad money management?