If you’ve overcome the challenges to building wealth and have put a plan in place to systematize your finances, you’re off to a great start. In addition to continuing these behaviors over time, you must guard your burgeoning wealth against threats from within and without. Undisciplined behavior can keep your financial wellness plan from taking hold while accruing too many debts of the wrong sort can slow down your momentum for years to come.
Credit card balances.
High-interest debts are the sort you want to avoid. They can act like an anchor, weighing down your financial game plan and holding back your life from improving and advancing. Some ways to avoid building up these problematic balances are:
- Don’t spend what you don’t have. Sticking to your existing budget can be difficult, but it’s better than crushing debts.
- Pay off credit card balances at the end of every month. If you have to use a credit card, you should pay off the balance in full every month.
- Start an emergency fund at a separate institution from your regular accounts. This will let you build your fund and keep it separate from your regular pool of finances.
- Set up automatic savings deposits. Take advantage of the systematized processes available to build your finances without having to think about it.
- Run your home’s finances on the cash envelope system. This process involves planning and setting your budget based on cash banked in envelopes. Once the envelope is emptied, your budget is depleted for the month and you have to wait to re-up your cash.
In addition to these avoidance behaviors, you should never utilize payday loans. These predatory lending vehicles are structured in a way to accelerate your debt load and keep you paying forever. They contribute to a vicious cycle of poverty in the US that affects far too many people. Negotiate with your bills due, explore a refinancing loan, or take on a second job to handle difficult financial issues rather than this high-risk move that does nothing to benefit you.
Not all debts are created equal. While high-interest debts are a threat to your well-being, some debts present opportunities to improve your life down the line. Examples of good debts are:
- A mortgage – the opportunity to build equity and potentially create a second income stream by renting your property is a huge investment in your future.
- Credit consolidation loan – using this option to eliminate your high-interest debts can keep some people out of bankruptcy. They do come with restrictions that should be considered very carefully, but consolidation loans can represent a step towards greater financial awareness and freedom.
- Personal business loan – taking a smart loan to help finance a personal business venture can lead to greater financial prosperity. We suggest you begin personal business ventures as an alternative venture to establish your business before exploring financing.
As opposed to unhealthy debt, good debt offers a benefit to you that is equal to the financial risk involved. These debt options have more stable loan rates and are less exploitative, serving as a launching pad for you to invest in your future. Unhealthy debt only solves a temporary problem which stems from poor financial discipline.
Lack of Financial Discipline
Much misery can be tracked to undisciplined financial behaviors. Unhealthy debts arise when people act out of desperation or on impulse. Anyone can come up with a financial game plan to improve their life, but it takes real guts and determination to stick to it.
That sort of hard work pays off in the end, but it requires a dedicated patience that has fallen out of style in a society that puts a premium on instant gratification. The trick is to build a healthy financial mindset and cultivate a relationship with your finances in which you realize that your money is a tool for wellness, not a delivery system for your happiness.
Building Your Financial Game Plan
If you’ve successfully avoided those problematic debts, pat yourself on the back. If debt is an issue for you, you deserve recognition too – learning more about personal finance is the first step in finding your way out. Exploring what solution works best for your case, or whether to employ the debt snowball or debt avalanche method can be eye-opening.
Set and track a budget and stick to it, and you will see those problems begin to melt away. The trick to sticking to your new, financially healthy lifestyle? A mindset of abundance and gratitude. Know that the future holds promises of opportunity to make your life better, and keep rising up to be financially ready to take advantage of those opportunities.
Want to learn more about building wealth and staying out of problematic debts? Change your world by joining us at JBWealthfit and start working on the future you want to live.