Does your Lifestyle Cost too Much?
Published: 25 October 2012 By MoneyHighStreet Staff Leave a Comment
Few would disagree that living from pay-cheque to pay-cheque is less than ideal. Worse still is the idea – or knowledge – that you’re spending more than you earn. If your finances are constantly in the red after payday and the settling of all of your bills, then it’s high time you got your finances in order.
Where is it all going?
Take a look at your finances and examine where all your money is going. Perhaps it is mostly spent on food, travel or clothes.
Whatever the reason, gather your bank statements for the past 6-12 months and assess in which areas of your life you are spending most of your income.
Once you have a better grasp of where your money is heading every month, the easier it will be to repair your financial situation.
The next thing to do is to start budgeting right away. Instead of spending your whole month’s wage, pay your rent/mortgage or bills, and then consider putting half of what’s left into your savings or towards any debts.
Why are you overspending?
People overspend money for a whole host of issues. Many reasons are linked to mental factors where spending fulfils some kind of psychological need, which is where we derive the term ‘retail therapy’. However, most impulse purchases only sate such psychological issues for a short period, whereas the financial repercussions are substantial.
Perhaps you dislike seeing an empty fridge at home, so you are the type of consumer who roams supermarkets with a trolley full to the brim. The important thing to ascertain here is whether you consume all those groceries or leave them to rot in your fridge and cupboards.
So it’s not always about the spending, but how much real value your purchases bring to your life. The same goes for big clothes-shopping sprees where the items purchased are seldom worn, a habit many women are guilty of.
Essential and non-essential items
Look through your possessions and identify which ones are essential and non-essential. At first glance, many things may seem essential so it is probably a good idea to invite a friend or family member to help you assess your belongings.
It is good to understand what you need and do not need in your life.
Non-essential items can be collated and sold to make some more money to cover any debts. Ecommerce sites such as Music Magpie are great online sites where you can sell your stuff, such as old smartphones or tablet devices. If you don’t have any luck on those sites, then type “sell my iPhone” into Google and you’ll be able to find many more online shops where you can sell your belongings.