Here's a list of what might be keeping you in debt:
1. Banking fees. – We're not Guilty.
- Do you keep track of your daily balances? Going under by just a cent can drastically affect you. I read an article the other day about a teenager who was around $1 under (if any of this info is wrong, sorry I read the article and can't seem to find it again). He was only under because his account was sitting at around $9 or $10, so the bank then charged him a $10 maintenance fee. He was then charged around $30 a day for being under and in less than 10 days, he owed around $230. He barely ever checked his account and didn't notice.
- Interest and late payment charges can also add up very quickly. We're trying to pay off our debt so that we can get rid of all of this crazy interest that's building up. It just builds up so fast.
2. Eating out. – Guilty. We've been bad with this lately and reverted to our old habits. I'm blaming it on the holidays and pure laziness.
- Eating out can add up quickly. The other day we went to McDonalds for smoothies, the casino for dinner and McDonalds again for a snack. And we did something like this a lot of days this past week. Sometimes eating out can cost almost the same amount as a weeks worth of groceries. That's where the savings of eating at home really come in.
3. Being house poor. – Not guilty. We bought a house that was much under what we were approved for. This has helped a lot, especially since when we bought the house, we made around half as much as we make now.
- Definition of ‘House Poor‘ – A situation that describes a person who spends a large proportion of his or her total income on home ownership, including mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance and utilities. House poor individuals are short of cash for discretionary items and tend to have trouble meeting other financial obligations like vehicle payments. via Investopedia
- A lot of people are guilty of this. Just because you are pre-approved for a certain amount, definitely does not mean that you should buy a house at that amount.
4. Impulse shopping. Mostly Not Guilty. I definitely research most of my purchases, just to make sure that I don't have any second thoughts after I get something (which I usually do).
- Groupon is a major for most people. You see something that you kind of like, and it seems like a good deal, so you buy it instantly. Lots of people don't use these. I am guilty of this, I have some Groupons that are expired. I can use these for the face value still though, but haven't. Most of these places are too far away for me to willingly use.
5. Spending to make you happier. Mostly Not Guilty. I'm saying I'm mostly not guilty because usually shopping and spending money does not make me happier, but of course I have done this before.
- Do you often go to the mall, Target, grocery store, wherever when you're not feeling 100% yourself and buy stuff?
- These things can add up quickly. And sometimes, maybe most of the time, you won't even like these things after a couple of days. This adds up quickly, especially if you're always not feeling 100%.
6. Spending because you say to yourself “I deserve it.” Guilty. I am busy a lot, so I always make myself feel better with my spending by telling myself that I deserve it for all of my hard work.
- These purchases can add up very quickly. Just because I think I deserve it, doesn't mean I should buy it. Don't I deserve to pay off my debt as well?
What's keeping you in debt?