3 Signs That You Need Help With Your Finances ~ Guest Post

Posted by Jenna | Monday, May 20, 2013

The lightning pace of modern life can make taking care of personal finances a difficult task. How are you doing at it? Following are three signs that show you are in need of a little help.

3. You Don't Have Savings Goals

Image via Flickr by Images of Money

If you have your paycheck spent almost before you receive it, you probably aren't looking ahead very far. Do you dream of buying a house? Are you dreaming of retirement? Stop dreaming and start planning. Set both long-term and short-term savings goals. If you're at a loss as to where to begin, make your first savings goal that of establishing an emergency fund that will sustain you for a minimum of three months if you experience a loss of income.

Once you've established concrete goals, outline a concrete plan for reaching those goals. Figure out how much you can reasonably set aside each month. Also, set a deadline for yourself. A deadline will motivate you to keep saving, and you'll have something to look forward to.

2. You're Constantly Struggling With Debt

If the plastic in your wallet is digging a hole that's getting deeper and deeper, this is a major sign that you need help with your finances. The first step to filling in the hole is to stop digging. If at all possible, stop using your credit cards. Also consider consolidating your debt, which will lessen the overall amount you will pay in interest and make it easier for you to keep track of your payments.

Tackling your debt takes you miles closer to reaching your financial goals. After you have an emergency fund set aside, make paying off your debts the priority. It will free up money for savings and give you added peace of mind.

If you're really struggling to pay your debts, consider getting professional help from a company like global money management firm Fisher Investments. If you choose to go to a financial advisor, thoroughly check out their credentials and areas of expertise. Choosing the right help can go a long way.

1. You Don't Know Where Your Money is Going

If all you can say for certain about where your money is going is, "out of my bank account" -- it's time for you to start paying real attention. For a month, keep track of every dollar you spend. You can either write it down or find an app for your phone.

It might seem like a tedious task, but the end result is that your eyes will be opened to what your spending habits really are. Then you can decide where you can cut back and save more money. Once you know where your money is going, make a plan for where you want it to go. Write out a budget that:
  • Covers necessities, 
  • Gives you a little room to play
  • Moves you toward your financial goals.
Pay particular attention to how much money you budget for things like recreation and dining; in other words, expenses that can easily get out of hand. After doing this, you should have a much better idea about how you're spending your cash.

With a little knowledge, self-control, and maybe some outside assistance, you'll be on your way to reaching your financial goals, whatever those goals might be. Make an honest self-assessment to see if you're exhibiting any of the signs that you need help with your finances. What other problems have you experienced with your own finances?

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