There are probably more middle-class Americans than you realize who struggle with personal finance and end up deep in debt. It’s not just low-income earners who struggle to get by. Research done by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs showed that even most people making between $50,000 to $100,000 a year have trouble keeping $1,000 saved for emergencies. The poll even said that 38% of those with annual incomes of greater than $100,000 would still have similar trouble. But what can you do achieve financial freedom, greater savings, and become better at overall money management?
Always Be Willing to Take on a Side Job
You might think taking on a second job or looking for another source of income too time-consuming or outside your expertise. But the truth is, you are never out of options for extra income. Teaching a skill, selling a small service, or even opening an Etsy shop for your art and craft work can all be great ways to start earning extra money. According to one CNBC report, even the most wealthy people never earn all their money from just one high-paying job, but instead have other gigs they get involved in that contribute to their wealth. You don’t have to become a workaholic to have multiple income sources. You might just pickup a gig like babysitting, or a weekend hobby that makes you some extra money.
Have Automatic Transfers to Your Savings Account
Some banks have systems in place for automatic deposits or transfers into your savings. A lot of people try to keep minimal amounts in their savings because federal law limits the number of withdrawals you can make in a month from here. But if you were to place your money in a savings account bit by bit and keep it off limits over time, you’d potentially have that money ready for a short-term emergency. Having even $500 in savings could mean you won’t have to use credit or go into debt to pay your rent or bills.
Limit Your Entertainment Consumption
It’s easy to say you need to draw up a personal budget, but you really need to take stock of how much entertainment you’re spending on. It’s good to think about whether you really need all those movie channels, or if you need to take your family to the most glamorous vacation destinations. When you want to spend time with your loved ones, look for entertainment that’s free, or that you can all participate in without paying much.
While changing your financial situation may not happen overnight, you can start by making small decisions every day on whether or not you’ll buy something. If you’ve gotten into debt, avoid going deeper into it by explaining the situation to your creditors and working with them. But even if you can’t, a bankruptcy lawyer may be able to help you. Be sure you spend smart, use credit sparingly, and have a budget and plan for future spending as well.