5 reasons why you’ll forever be in debt
The thing about getting into debt is that anyone can do it!
The hard part, of course, is getting out of debt.
In fact, many people struggle with even admitting they’re in debt in the first place and bounce from one pay to the next struggling to keep their head above financial water.
There are a number of reasons why so many Australians are stuck in a revolving debt cycle so let’s look at 5 common reasons why this happens:
1. They only make minimum credit card repayments
If you only make minimum payments on your credit card each month, then you’re never actually paying off any of the principal.
Look at it this way…imagine you have a $5,000 debt on a credit card that attracts an interest rate of 17 per cent and you only make a minimum monthly payment of, say, three per cent of your balance.
Guess how long it will take to pay off that $5,000 debt?
It will take some 189 months — or nearly 14 years — to pay it off while also accruing interest of nearly the same amount as the principal.
So a simple strategy is to increase the amount you pay each month, which can make a big difference to how long it takes to pay off.
Ideally, you should pay off your credit card balance every month.
If you can’t do that, then your spending is likely far exceeding your income and you shouldn’t be buying on your credit card in the first place.
Too many people see the available balance on their credit cards as their money – and it isn’t!
2. You splurge on holidays
This particularly happens around Christmas time when many people rely on credit to cover their holiday spending, which means that they start the New Year in worse financial shape than they ended the previous year.
Sometimes it’s because you feel like you have to “keep up with the Jones”, but it’s quite possible your friends are also in credit card debt and struggling.
A good strategy to consider is to avoid spending time around others who have a tendency to overspend and stop getting yourself into situations where you might be melting the plastic at the register.
Maybe you should consider locking up the credit cards at this time of year and holiday within your financial means instead.
3. You believe that debt is part of life
One of the biggest reasons people get stuck in debt is because they believe that debt is just a normal part of life.
However, the type of bad debt I’m talking about is a result of wanting or needing something that you don’t actually have the cash to buy at the moment.
And the problem is you go to the ATM and borrow next month’s money today and pay a premium to do so.
Now that’s a bad habit.
Maybe you need to give yourself a wake-up call by keeping close tabs on your spending to see how much you’re relying on debt to maintain your lifestyle.
Once you work out how much you owe, make a plan to pay off the debt, because having a goal of getting out of debt might give you the motivation you need to stop relying on it.
4. You don’t have a contingency fund
I always recommend that people set aside money for a rainy day such as those unexpected medical expenses, repairs or a job loss.
The amount of this contingency fund will vary depending on what your regular expenses are, but a good guideline is to have enough funds to financially sustain you and your family for up to six months.
Too many people, however, don’t have any cash reserves at all so rely on credit cards when these unexpected expenses crop up.
But doing this means they’ll end up paying more than the original cost of the emergency if they don’t pay off the balance quickly because of the high interest attached to credit cards.
5. They allow expenses to rise with income
There is a well-known saying that people’s expenses usually rise up to match their income.
So, if they’re the happy recipient of a pay rise or get a new higher paying job, their expenses increase to match because they believe they can “afford” a nicer car or more expensive clothes.
This can be especially dangerous if they’re still carrying debt from the days when they were earning less and are now taking on more loans to help pay for that bigger house or better car.
Their debt will simply balloon, leaving them unable to pay it off – despite the bigger pay cheque.
The bottom line…
Debt doesn’t have to be a dirty word but you must have the financial discipline to manage it correctly.
This includes creating and sticking to a budget to ensure that you live within (or preferably below) your means – all of the time.
If you’re forever splashing out on things you don’t really need and paying for them on credit with money you don’t really have, it’s likely that you’ll never find a way out of the vicious bad debt cycle.
Now is the time to take action and set yourself for the opportunities that will present themselves as the market moves on
If you’re wondering what will happen to property in 2020–2021 you are not alone.
You can trust the team at Metropole to provide you with direction, guidance and results.
In challenging times like we are currently experiencing you need an advisor who takes a holistic approach to your wealth creation and that’s what you exactly what you get from the multi award winning team at Metropole.
If you’re looking at buying your next home or investment property here’s 4 ways we can help you:
- Strategic property advice. – Allow us to build a Strategic Property Plan for you and your family. Planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it now! This will give you direction, results and more certainty. Click here to learn more
- Buyer’s agency – As Australia’s most trusted buyers’ agents we’ve been involved in over $3Billion worth of transactions creating wealth for our clients and we can do the same for you. Our on the ground teams in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane bring you years of experience and perspective – that’s something money just can’t buy. We’ll help you find your next home or an investment grade property. Click here to learn how we can help you.
- Wealth Advisory – We can provide you with strategic tailored financial planning and wealth advice. Click here to learn more about we can help you.
- Property Management – Our stress free property management services help you maximise your property returns. Click here to find out why our clients enjoy a vacancy rate considerably below the market average, our tenants stay an average of 3 years and our properties lease 10 days faster than the market average.
Latest posts by Michael Yardney (see all)
- 5 reasons why you’ll forever be in debt - October 30, 2020
- 4 key reasons why the property pessimists are changing their minds - October 12, 2020
- What the bad news for airline pilots may mean for you - October 9, 2020