There are so many fun ways to spend money. With a smartphone and a $5000 credit limit, you can buy a diamond encrusted Bluetooth headset without ever having to get up from your bar stool. Wants and needs can be hard to tell apart, but it’s time to come down from the consumption-induced high and realize that you didn’t really need the gold plated staples or the Jedi bathrobe. Don’t succumb to feeling guilty. Shame about where your priorities were in the past isn’t going to help you now. Focus instead on changing your habits today. Here are a few tips to help you get ahead of the financial game.
- Pay off your credit cards. You might have guessed that this would be first. Credit cards are tools for building credit, but they need to be used with caution. In an ideal world, you would only use credit cards for building credit and pay them off at the end of each month. The exorbitant interest rates can kill your finances, so pay the credit cards off as quickly as possible.
- Get a personal loan. It is a little-known fact among the general population that personal loans can be used as a way to consolidate debt. The interest rate on a personal loan (secured or unsecured) is much lower than credit cards. In other words, you will save money if you use it to pay off credit cards. If you are located in Australia, check bank interest rates on personal loans. Keep in mind that a selection of secured personal loans from Greater Building Society can help.
- Get out of the consumption cycle. Buying new stuff raises your dopamine levels like a drug. However, it is only a temporary high. Before you know it, you’re looking for the next thing you will buy. If you don’t get out of this cycle, you risk your financial future. Seek out healthy, free ways to raise your dopamine levels. Try to be objective about spending money.
- Create a budget. It’s easier to be objective about how much money you’re spending vs. how much money is coming in each month with a budget. It becomes less tempting to whip out a credit card to cover the cost of something you didn’t plan to buy. You budget some “fun” money to spend on crazy stuff you don’t need, and you’ll have more control over the psychological aspects of spending.
- Focus on creating perpetual income stream. This is a way to increase the amount money you bring in every month. With considerable effort, you can create something valuable that people want to buy. Use your expertise to write an ebook related to your line of work or a hobby you’re passionate about. You can also create more income by focusing on investments. Perpetual Dividend Raisers are stocks that build income for you each year without you having to do anything else.