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How desperate for money are you?

by Altaf Shaikh
How desperate for money are you?

While everybody is talking about the switch to “cashless society” where every transaction happens via credit cards, there’s a growing number of people that embraced the “cashless” lifestyle way before this transition even happened. In fact, according to CareerBuilder’s research, almost 80 percent of US workers live paycheck to paycheck. 

This opened up a lot of doors for the increased consumption of instant noodles, reserved for broke college students. Well, not anymore. Apparently, even the established people with loads of experience on their plate are munching them. This said we have to ask you: How desperate for money are you? If you struggle to reply, here are some ways to help you determine it.

 

  • Take a look at your spending habits

 

Determining how desperate for money you are depends on your spending habits. If you don’t keep track of your income and monthly expenses, or you frequently fall prey to impulse buying,  you might not be as desperate for money as you think. However, some financial lessons might come in handy. 

A good way to improve your spending habits is to follow 20/30/50 rule. All you need to do to follow this rule is to calculate your after-tax income. This is what you’re getting from your paycheck after all taxes are deducted and the money you have at disposal.

When you get the number, you should calculate how much is 50 percent of your total income and put it towards your needs. Needs are things you have to pay and buy and include food, money for rent, utilities, healthcare, etc. 

The other half of your income you should split on 30 percent, you can use for your “wants” such as a new pair of shoes, or new bicycle you’ve been eyeing for months. The last 20 percent of your income should go to your savings account.

This rule is not always practical and easy to follow, however, if you know your financial management skills are poor, you can take it as a template and tweak it a bit to fit your needs.

 

  • You frequently think about the ways you can earn more money

 

Do you know that nearly 40 percent of Americans have some kind of side-hustle? Side gigs are an amazing way that can help us make more money we can use to pursue our passions, buy things we want rather than need, or save. 

Some people engage in side hustles via platforms such as UpWork or PeoplePerHour, or they drive Uber. Some of them, on the other hand, are more interested in making an easy buck fast, which explains why we love to bet.

 

  • You’re in a debt you cannot payoff

 

Usually, debt is a direct result of poor spending habits. They can set us back so much we enter a vicious circle called debt that’s impossible to pay off.

There are several ways you can use to pay off your debt. The most common ones are the avalanche and snowball methods. The avalanche method is known to be the most efficient one, as you focus your efforts on paying off the debt with the highest rate while the snowball is the opposite.

If you’re struggling with a debt you cannot pay off, maybe you should try one of these methods or see financial advisors (lots of them work pro bono).

 

  • You cannot afford to buy essentials

 

By the research, the United Way Alice Project published two years ago, around 43 percent of American households cannot afford basic things needed for obtaining a healthy and normal life. Those things include money for housing, food, child care, and health care. If you find yourself in any of those groups, there’s a definite sign you’re in desperate need of money.

Money can’t buy happiness

but it can surely pave its way. Money is freedom, as it helps us do things we enjoy, allows us to take care of ourselves in a better way, and afford to make people we love happy. This said we hope you were able to determine how desperate for money you are and gain insights on how to manage your finance in a better way. 

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