If you’re reading this article, you might have gotten the impression that you have a money problem. There’s a high likelihood that you have been spending more than you make, which can be difficult to come to terms with. After all, how can you plan for the future if you can’t keep up with the bills you have now? For many of us, we hold on to the dream that someday just around the corner we’ll come into a landfall: maybe a promotion, a new job, or a sudden success at a side gig. Then all of our money troubles will go away. Unfortunately, time goes by and our situation stays the same–or gets worse.
Take comfort in the reality that you are not alone in this mindset. Only a small percentage of people in modern America have a handle on their finances. The New York State Society of CPAs recently published this article in which they pointed out that:
77 percent of Americans have anxiety about their finances,
58 percent feel controlled by their financial situation, and
52 percent struggle to handle their financial worries.
That’s a lot of people with money problems. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s an attractive situation in which to find yourself. Let’s talk about moving over into the percentage that has actually broken free from debt and isn’t endlessly stressed about money.
Take Ownership Of Your Financial Picture
It’s common to think that the answer to your problems is more money. A higher-income might temporarily help you deal with some of the bills you’re struggling with, but if you’re in a pattern of spending more than you bring in, you might find yourself in the same situation shortly.
Instead, step back and take stock of your financial situation. How did you get here in the first place? What was the type of mindset that brought you here?
A few books you might want to read on the subject include Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How it Defines Our Lives by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir, and The Abundance of Less: Lessons in Simple Living from Rural Japan by Andy Couturier.
Press the Restart Switch with Polo Funding
If you’re in debt, it’s time to work on getting out of debt. Polo Funding works with customers stuck in a revolving cycle of high-interest credit card debt. The company has a debt consolidation program and can help you get out of debt more easily and more quickly than if you were to continue trying to make multiple minimum monthly payments.
While you’re working on paying off your outstanding debt, you should also strive to change your existing money habits. You can’t keep spending money the way you’ve been doing until now. Books that might help you with this include Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover and his sequel Complete Guide to Money.
Gain Finance Knowledge
While you’re in the process of becoming debt-free, continue to empower yourself by learning about basic finance. The reason most Americans struggle with their finances is that they were never properly taught about money.
Some of the ways to learn about finance include:
Enroll in college (or continuing education) classes about finance and economics.
Take a course from Dave Ramsey, one of the foremost personal finance gurus around. Enroll in his “Financial Peace University” to further your understanding of how to take control of money.
Listen to podcasts, including “So Money,” “Function,” “Planet Money,” and “The BiggerPockets Money Podcast.” Dave Ramsey has a podcast, too.
Get Started ASAP
There’s no better time to start on any journey than right now. You can get out of the hole you feel like you’re in. It’s just a matter of taking ownership of your financial picture, pressing the restart switch, getting help from a professional, and learning about economics and personal finance.