I need to confess. I have a love hate relationship with my personal finances. Some days I feel like I am on track to retiring young, other days I feel like I am going to be a desk jockey forever.
I see my money in a strange way. Not as something that pays the bills and lets me buy overpriced morning coffees at work, but instead I see it as a ‘way out’. A way to make smart decisions to free myself from working because I ‘have’ to and instead working to fulfill my dreams and things I am more passionate about doing before I croak it.
Taking this alternative view to my money, means I need to find ways to save money and be smarter than the next person. No one is going to help me get ahead, it’s completely up to me and if I do nothing, nothing will happen.
This is why I have compiled a list of things that I hate about my current personal finances. I want to share with you the things that bug me, financial grievances if you will so that I can personally learn from them (and hopefully help others in the process).
Have a read and tell me via the comments if you agree.
#9 – I am forever straddling a fine line of debt
Every time I receive a lump sum of money (like a tax return) it seems to be already accounted for. I always have ancillary debts (not my mortgage) that require repayment. Whether it is an ‘interest free’ store credit card or a personal loan that I used to fund household renovations – I always have a place that requires me to sink money into.
In the future I hope for many pay-days that leave me with money that isn’t accounted for. Imagine if the money you repay to all your debts was unaccounted for and ready to grow your savings, grow your wealth and spend on things you want?
It would be an amazing feeling and one I am certainly working hard to achieve. You can read about how I am repaying my debts with military precision here.
#8 – I save money only to spend it
Another thing I hate about my personal finances is that I save money only to spend. This means I start saving to achieve a goal and the goal is more often than not something that requires me to spend the cash at the end.
While you can’t take money to the grave with you, I want to save money into an account that has no purpose beyond just giving me a little comfort. I don’t want it accounted for in my next holiday; I want it sitting there so I feel all nice and perky about having money set aside for no other reason than a sense of security.
#7 – I don’t use my money to make more money
Occasionally I have left over money from a pay cheque. It doesn’t stay ‘left over’ for very long, often getting quickly put onto a debt to lower the interest. I often wonder whether paying off debt is indeed the best thing to do instead of using the money to find investments that will grow my money.
I understand the logic that debts are costing money and by repaying them we are saving money, in turn giving us a solid return – though I hate the fact that I am not building a nest egg simultaneously.
I can’t help but feel stupid putting money into a high interest account if I have a cent of debt elsewhere. Ongoing, I hope to repay my debts rapidly and then allocate aggressive amounts of savings and investment money for my future.
For instance, the money I repay to debts currently will continue to be accounted for via my savings goals; education fund for my kids and a new house fund for us.
#6 – I can’t save if I have outstanding debts
As mentioned above, I simply can’t feel good about having a savings account while I still have debts. Yet deep down I truly want a big fat savings account. It’s hard, but you can’t have everything right?
#5 – Pay day doesn’t happen frequently enough (I am impatient)
I get these massive ideas about saving money and ways to ‘set aside a little here and there’, the catch however is I have to be patient. My plans need time and I often find myself impatiently getting frustrated that pay day doesn’t come soon enough so I can execute my plans.
This is what lead me to investigating passive income ideas and other ways to earn some money on the side. Any side money I make can contribute to my goals in between my monthly pay (yep, I get paid monthly, what a drag).
#4 – I hate that I pay myself last
I pay bills, debts and others before myself. By this I mean that I often underestimate how much money I personally need on a day to day basis to survive/live.
I find myself doing dumb things like paying a heap of money to a debt or bill only to realise I now don’t have money for the week ahead. Decisions like this make life tough and I really need to learn how to pay myself first while still accomplishing my goals – perhaps I need to be less aggressive?
#3 – My weekly grocery bill is never stable
Another thing that really really annoys me; I can never make my grocery bill the same from week to week. I have no idea how people budget a set amount of money on groceries – I feel like on any given week my groceries receipt can fluctuate between 20-30% from the previous.
What am I doing wrong? The answer is probably I set a budget but some weeks I blow out (like when I buy cleaning agents) and in turn don’t have a buffer for these types of spending weeks.
#2 – I need to focus on the long term more
$100 per month into a savings account doesn’t seem like a lot. Though what if I did this for 10 years (120 months) with an interest rate of 3%? The answer is I would have saved $13,976.78.
I need to learn to focus on the long term and know that my actions today will create opportunity and wealth tomorrow. I am seeing a similar trend here – I need patience.
#1 – Every time I get a pay rise, I find a way to spend it
My last gripe sorry. I often look at my rate of pay and think how far I have come since my first job. I should be proud and myself and the me of yesterday would be amazed at how I manage to spend it all.
While you do take on more responsibility as you get older, I do feel I have an element of living above my means in many ways. I hope to recapture my old outlook on money and stop spending faster than I can make it. I want my future pay raises unaccounted for.
What do you hate about your personal finances?
Tell us what it is you hate about your money/personal finances. Any gripes you wish to share?