How to Beat Broke03.26.14
Even if you have a well-paying job, a steady paycheck doesn’t guarantee an overflowing bank account. As a workingwoman, you have to plan how, where, and when you spend if you are going to have some money for now and some money for later. Like always, anything worth having is going to take ample work, calculated strategy and sufficient time. And having healthy finances is no different. But are there things that are getting in the way of your wealth no matter how hard you try? Cotton Candy money editors want you to know that financial woes don’t have to be a permanent state. There are a few simple steps you can take to help you beat broke.
Drop Expensive Habits
The American Cancer Society points out that smoking does more than jeopardize your health. When you crunch the numbers for a pack-a-day smoking habit, things quickly begin to add up. With the cigarettes costing on average $6 per pack, plus the $35 in health costs often affiliated with each pack, the American Cancer Society estimates a smoker can spend $14,975 for this costly, daily habit. As for wine drinkers, just two simple glasses of wine can tally up to $1000 per year for even the moderate drinker.
Shop with Care
Our editors love a sassy Prada dress or a powerful Jimmy Choo shoe. We appreciated the art of shopping, but a fashionable shopper should be a savvy one too, always shopping with financial care. Impulse buying is never a good thing. Instead, ensure that you’ve paid all your bills and then set your shopping budget for the week. Take the time to track your spending, and make sure that you are not spending more than you think you are spending. Perception can be very different than reality, and it’s easy to lose track of how much is spent if you don’t keep a record. And of course, never be afraid to look for a bargain first before considering full price. Trust us. That DVF dress will look even better on you at 50 percent off.
Ditch Minimum Payments
Your credit card statements indicate minimum monthly payments, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider paying more. The less you pay per month, the more creditors make because interest then accrues on a higher balance. Kiplinger.com points out that a $5,000 balance with a 15 percent interest rate will cost you an additional $8,000 in interest payments when you pay the two percent minimum, not to mention it will take 32 years to pay off. Amp up the payments to $250 versus the minimum, and you’ll see your debt gone in two years and the costs will reduce to less than $800.