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We all want to be financially responsible. However, for many people, dealing with finances is a chore best left for tomorrow. With summer coming and daylight hours expanding, there will be endless temptation to spend. Lee Murphy, owner of accountancy software Pandle, discusses 10 ways in which you’re being financially irresponsible, and how you can turn things around.
1. Emotional spending
Emotional spending is dangerous because it means you haven’t taken the time to research alternative options for something you want or need. It leads to more impulsive and reactive purchases and can leave you in debt if not stopped.
2. Not saving enough
Whether you’re a small business or someone just getting out of university, it is incredibly important to come up with a savings plan. Think of it as added protection or an investment in something really exciting down the road.
3. Ignoring investment opportunities
Making your money work for you is a great way to create a cycle of financial success. Financial planners can help come up with a plan, but there are steps you can take on your own too: buying a few shares of stock you feel confident about or starting to save for property investment. There are plenty of opportunities. You just have to identify those which fit your life.
4. Not doing your homework
One of the biggest mistakes I see people making is not doing their research. Even if you know you want to buy a specific product or service, it’s worth looking online to see if there are any deals that can ease the cost. You’d be surprised how much the savings add up!
5. Living beyond your means
Small purchases add up and before you know it, you’re in debt. Wanting and having it all isn’t always a realistic expectation, and often just cutting out your morning coffee or buying generic office supplies can mean more money in the bank.
6. Over borrowing
Taking out loans or using credit cards excessively without calculating the end costs lands many people in hot water. Taking out cash hoping that one day you’ll be able to repay isn’t a good move and isn’t a solution for your problems. Create a plan or budget and start saving.
7. Not taking advantage of benefits
Whether it’s samples of the latest products or employee benefits, many people don’t cash in and lose out on having costs covered. This means more out of your own pocket and less in the bank.
8. Going uninsured
While insurance may seem like an extra cost, in the long run, when something does happen, you’ll be happy you have it to take some of the financial burden off your shoulders.
9. Ignoring your monthly budget
No matter how difficult it may be, businesses and individuals cannot effectively run their lives if they’re not sticking to a budget. Having a plan is critical for financial success but is useless if ignored.
10. Neglecting the ‘bigger picture’
Having a greater savings plan is a great way to motivate yourself to save. Setting aside money for that future trip, new hire or for future investment helps paint a larger picture and set goals, which means you’ll naturally be more aware of where your money is going - and where it could go.