Do you feel like you’re living paycheck to paycheck? Are you struggling to pay off debt or build your savings account? If you feel like you simply can’t get ahead financially, you may be guilty of sabotaging your own financial happiness.
How can someone who is barely surviving financially be sabotaging their own financial happiness, you might ask? Well, each decision you make, each dollar you spend, can have a major impact on your financial well-being. Here are a few ways you may be sabotaging your own financial happiness:
1. You don’t have a budget. Many people hate the word “budget” because it sounds so restrictive. They think it means they can’t spend money on fun things and will therefore never be happy again. However, when a budget is done right, it isn’t restrictive at all. It’s a way to tell your money where to go. By budgeting your finances, you can see where each dollar is going every month and can learn how to save for more expensive things that you can only dream about having right now.
Alan Lakein once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Without a budget, you’re planning to fail financially.
2. You Aren’t Willing to Commit. You can plan and budget all you want, but without the follow through, nothing will change. Commitment is essential to creating your financial happiness. You need to be committed to paying off your debt instead of spending money on frivolous things. You need commit to say no sometimes, even if you want to say yes. Being committed means knowing when to make sacrifices now for something greater in the future.
3. You Ignore Your Debt. Ignoring your debt is like when a two-year-old closes his eyes and honestly believes that you can’t see him anymore. It’s being ignorant to reality. The reality is that your debt won’t simply go away, even if you close your eyes. The longer you ignore it, the bigger it gets. The best thing you can do financially, is to attack your debt head on. Budget as much money as you can towards paying off your debt and commit to paying it off as soon as you can.
4. You Prefer Instant Gratification. We live in an “I Want It Now” culture. That’s why we eat at fast food restaurants, shop online, and pay for everything with credit cards. If we see something we want, we don’t want to save up for it. We want it now. Our culture has such a short attention span that if we don’t get it now, we’ll likely forget about it in a few months. So, we charge it to our credit card today and plan on paying for it later.
Saint Isaac the Syrian once said, “For anything that is quickly obtained is also easily lost, whereas everything found with toil is also kept with careful watching.”
Instant gratification may be nice in the moment, but the things that you’ll value the most will often take time and effort to earn. Don’t give up what you really want in the future for something you sort of like today.
5. You Try to Keep Up with The Joneses. Do you constantly find yourself wishing you had the latest phone or technological device? Do you look at your social media feed and dream of going on fun adventures like he does or living in a beautiful home like hers?
Dave Ramsey often states that, “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”
Don’t fall into the trap of keeping up with the Joneses. You’ll often find that the so-called “Joneses” in your life are trying to keep up with someone else and are likely ruining their own financial happiness in doing so.
6. You’re Not Saving for Retirement. By choosing not to save money for retirement now, you’re sabotaging your future financial happiness. You don’t want to be barely scraping by when you’re in your 70s. Retirement is the time to relax and enjoy the things you couldn’t do when you were working full-time. By setting aside money for retirement right now, you’re making one of the best long-term financial decisions.
7. You Don’t Prioritize Saving. A decent savings doesn’t just happen overnight. You need to make it a priority and work for it. Think of each dollar you own as if it were a little soldier fighting for your financial happiness. Each dollar spent is like a little soldier who just died. But each dollar saved, is another soldier in your army who is fighting for your wealth.
Saving money is like paying yourself. When you budget, you should pay your bills and then pay yourself. Even if you only save a dollar one month, that’s one more soldier who is fighting with you on your way to financial happiness.
What are you doing to sabotage your financial happiness? Please leave a comment below and let us know what you are doing or have done to ruin your financial happiness and what you plan on doing or have done to change that.