If you had the opportunity to read last month’s article, How do Women Get Themselves into Debt, then you know PlumbTalk Women had the chance to consult with financial advisor Stas Politis about the relationship between debt and low self -esteem.
Since 2006, Politis has been with the National Planning Corporation. He is devoted to helping his clients use their money efficiently through sound financial advice.
Debt and Stress
As Politis points out, women often face a unique set of challenges when it comes to spending and saving their money. Over 50% of women worry about future expenses and their ability to care for themselves and their loved ones.
The stress of this situation is something PTW wants to help women avoid. As promised, this month’s article digs deeper into Politis’s theories of financial management. Last month PTW asked you to do the following:
- Calculate your credit card debt.
- Determine the total of your monthly expenses- mortgage payments, vehicle payments, utility fees and other monthly needs.
- Determine the total monthly income of your household.
Now is the time to pull out these monthly income and expense calculations and begin your personal journey into financial planning.
Financial Habits to Avoid
Financial debt doesn’t happen overnight. For most individuals, debt accumulates slowly due to poor financial choices and an unwillingness to make lifestyle changes. However, reality strikes hard when debt comes knocking at the door; those who face monetary woes are often struck with the painful realization that specific actions led them into debt.
According to Politis, debt is typically the result of poor spending habits or a failure to create and stick-to a financial plan. An effective financial plan that allows you to pay your bills, take care of your monthly needs and save for emergencies is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
Advice from the Expert
Stas Politis took time to enlighten PlumbTalk Women about the many ways debt related stress can be avoided. His advice is surprisingly simple.
- Live Within Your Means- Spending money you do not have is a habit that will lead to financial insecurity.
- Pay Yourself First- Saving a regular percentage of your income will leave you stress free should a financial need arise.
- Prioritize Your Spending-
- First, pay your bills
- Second, pay your savings account
- Third, live on the remainder of your income
- Separate Your Needs From Your Wants- Use the remainder of your income to pay for the things you need. Save and pay cash for the things you want. Do not rely on your credit card.
According to an article published by Debtmerica Relief, "just one bump in the road can cause a complete breakdown [for anyone living without a financial plan]." Both 10 Tips to Avoid the Debt Trap and Politis agree that, "preparing a financial plan for the future can go a long way."
Find Your Motivation
Avoiding debt takes discipline and motivation. It involves creating a plan and sticking to it. Politis recommends using the following books to find your financial inspiration:
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
PlumbTalk Women believes that all women can avoid a lifestyle of debt by embracing habits of discipline and motivation. By equipping yourself with tools to succeed and support to thrive, you can become debt free in no time.
Is it time to make your own financial plan? Have you discovered small ways to change your spending and saving habits? In preparation for next month’s article set aside time to write down the answers to the following questions:
- Which debt do you want to pay off first (car payment, mortgage, credit card bill)?
- Can you cut out any monthly purchases that will allow you to put more money in your savings account?
- Do you have any future expenses you should be considering now (college tuition, retirement funds)?
Next month’s article is devoted to helping you find the motivation to stick to a long- term financial plan. Make sure you are ready for phase three of Politis’s suggestions for a debt free life by answering the questions above.
For more information please feel free to contact Stas Politis at: [email protected]
10 Tips to Avoid the Debt Trap. Debtmerica Relief. Retrieved from http://debtmerica.com/articles/952-10-tips-to-avoid-the-debt-trap