Have you ever wondered why you just can’t seem to get ahead with your finances? You have friends and family members who are highly successful, yet you continue to come up short in this all-important area of your life. While there are certainly some factors that are out of your hands, your financial destiny is largely within your control.
What’s Holding You Back?
Some people just have bad luck. But if you look at a people who are struggling financially, the majority of these individuals are plagued by self-inflicted issues and wounds. Chances are you also fall into this category.
In order to finally obtain financial freedom and accomplish the goals you have for yourself, it’s imperative that you identify and understand the various factors that are holding you back.
Here are a few of the most common issues people deal with:
- No Budget
Americans make more per capita than almost any other country in the world, yet six in 10 don’t have enough in their savings accounts to cover a $500 unplanned expense. In other words, most people don’t have any idea of how to save money.
While self-discipline is the biggest factor in saving, you won’t get anywhere without a budget. You need a budget in order to tell you how much money is coming in and flowing out on a monthly basis.
- Bad Debt
Nothing restricts your financial freedom more than bad debt. It hurts you in the present and the future. The classic example is a new car loan.
Consider that the average new car loan totals $31,099 with payments of $515 at an interest rate of 5.11 percent. Not only is that $515 per month limiting your ability to spend on other (more important) things, but it’s also killing your retirement savings.
“Simply put, if you didn’t have a car payment and instead worked with a pro to invest that $500 a month in your 401(k) or Roth IRA, you could retire with more than $1 million after 30 years,” says Chris Hogan, author of Retire Inspired.
Get rid of bad debt, invest the difference, and wealth will almost certainly follow.
- Criminal Record
Did you make mistakes when you were younger? Do you have a criminal background? Even if you’re rehabilitated now, a record with criminal charges will continue to haunt you on employment and housing checks, loan applications, and college admissions applications.
There might not be a whole lot you can do about your record, but you don’t know until you try. In many states, you can actually have your criminal records sealed after a specific period of time. Inquire about whether this is true in your situation. If you’re able to do so, you can start answering “no” on applications or during interviews that ask about your criminal record.
- Taking the Wrong Advice
Would you take weight loss advice from someone who has doubled their weight over the last year? Would you ask a veterinarian to treat your cancer? Would you get marriage counseling from your mechanic? The answer to all of these questions is clearly no, yet you fail to use the same logic when it comes to finances.
It’s astounding how many people take financial advice from broke people. It doesn’t matter how savvy of an answer they give you, don’t let your broke friends tell you what to do with your money. Take advice from people who have a track record of being smart with money.
- Neglecting Retirement
It’s easy to put off retirement when you’re 25 or 35. You figure you have decades to get your act together and build wealth. However, the reality is that time is the most precious asset. Delaying retirement by even five years can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in compound interest.
Gain Control Over Your Future
You have way more control over your financial destiny than you realize. While there will always be certain factors that are outside of your control, there are plenty within your realm of influence. If you think you’re being held back by any of the issues highlighted in this article, now’s your chance to step up and take charge. You won’t see results until you take action.
Author: Oliver Curtis
Hi there. I’m Oliver. I’m just a young boy from the outskirts of… Okay, that’s a lie, I’m not a young boy anymore, although I certainly feel that way at heart.