Living paycheck to paycheck can be difficult.
Constantly writing down your expenses, saving receipts and foregoing extracurricular purchases can be taxing, but you are actually doing yourself a favor by keeping a close eye on your finances. For those who blindly make purchases and have uncertainty about the state of their finances, you may be in more trouble than you think. Here are two warning signs that your finances may be out of control:Missing bill due datesPaying your bills is an integral part of your finances and your budget. Your bills, whether for utilities, student loans or even rent, can actually help you stay on top of your finances. By budgeting your bills correctly, you can have an easier time organizing and saving money. But this can be counterproductive if you are constantly forgetting your bills' due dates.If you see that you have missed a few bill payments, you may be in a bad financial position. A missed payment results in a late fee charge, and if you don't pay it back after a certain time, your services could be turned off or bills could be sent for collection and hurt your credit rating. To help bypass this problem, you can set up reminders on your phone or also have your bank set up recurring automatic bill payments from your checking account. The alerts can help notify you when you need to pay bills next and forego expensive charges. Automatic bill pay eliminates the need to remind yourself to pay your recurring bills.
Not SavingIf you are living on a tight budget and squeezing every penny, it is always wise to minimize expenditures. Not going out to lunch or foregoing meeting friends for drinks are acceptable things to cut from your budget, but you also do not want to neglect your savings account.
Although it may be tough on a tight budget, you should try to allocate a few dollars each month to your savings account. Diverting a portion of your paycheck to a savings account can be one of the best financial decisions you make. You never know what the future holds, so being prepared with a padded savings account can help you out in a pinch. Life could throw you a curveball, like your car breaking down or you being stranded without a cell phone, so knowing that you have some emergency savings to bail you out can provide peace of mind. If this is the first time you have started a savings account, begin small. Try putting a reasonable amount of money into this account at the beginning and progressing from there.
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