Falling into debt is easy. After all, emergencies happen, jobs are lost, life circumstances increase expenses and decrease income... But getting out of debt is far more difficult. Breaking free from the cycle requires making real changes. If you feel like you are stuck in debt and cannot get out, take a look at these three reasons you may be struggling, then make a plan to change.
You don't track your spending or have a budget.
Do you think of creating a budget as boring? Does living within a budget just seem too restricting? Do you just sit and stare at a blank page when you try to create a budget because you don't know where to begin?
For most people, creating a budget and sticking to it is a necessary evil. It is absolutely necessary because without one, you will never get out of debt. Without a budget, you won't know how much money you are bringing in each month, nor will you know where it goes. The amount of money in your bank account will always be a surprise, you won't know how much you can spend on groceries for the month, and you will likely end up taking out your credit card to stock up on food before your next paycheck arrives. Thus the cycle of debt continues.
Tracking your spending and creating a budget used to be a slightly painful process that required lots of pencils, spreadsheets, calculations and effort, but now there are so many services and programs that will do it for free and simply. If you were hiding behind your poor math skills in the past, there really are no more excuses!
Shopping is Recreational Activity for You
Unless you have plenty of disposable income to throw around, you probably cannot afford to spend indiscriminately. If wandering the mall or checking out online stores is your idea of “fun,” your savings account is probably suffering. Instead of buying on a whim, only purchase items after thinking about where they fit in your budget and whether you actually need them.
You Keep Saying “As soon as...”
What's your latest excuse for staying in debt? Maybe you've thought to yourself “I'll stop shopping as soon as the holidays are over,” or “I'll start to pay down debt as soon as I get a raise.” You may also use this mindset to put off dieting or starting an exercise program or making another positive life change. Instead of waiting for the timing to be perfect, recognize it never quite will be, and get started today!