Avoid The Biggest Money Pitfalls With These 3 Financial Principles…

Blog Avoid the biggest money pitfalls with these 3 financial principles

This week, I am reading a book called Debt-Free Living

by Larry Burkett. I am also reading up on some of my favorite financial blogs, it is always good to review what you know you already know.

So, while I have been reading up on my niche, I have been reminded that financial pitfalls tend to be the same for all of us. What are the pitfalls? Well, debt, living above our means and not planning for emergencies. However, these pitfalls can easily be avoided by following some simple principles, which I am going to remind you of in this blog…

Principle #1 – Be Honest.

Inspiring Financial Quotes by James Frick

No, really honest! As you know, our grocery and eating out is where our budget goes astray (… well, that, PLUS these other 17 reasons). So, that’s the honest part. Now what? Let’s do something about it! This week, to help us stay on grocery budget, all the shopping for the week was done on payday (meal planning helps so we can do this!). The little remaining in the grocery/household budget is in plain sight, attached to the refrigerator, forcing us to answer to each other if it gets spent. ANNNND, no, you can’t come rob us, we don’t deserve that on the week we are doing good on the food budget!

Read about some of my budgeting FAILURES here…

Look, we get it! It is so painful to look a friend or spouse in the face and say “I overspent,” but it is necessary. Think of financial struggles as an addiction. Once you bring your own addictions to the light, it is now a choice to stay the same or to change. If you are reading this, I’m guessing you will be on the side trying to change things. So, don’t let the problems hide anymore. Find someone to be honest with and then get ready for the changes you will create.

Principle #2 – Be Realistic.

Honesty starts the change, but if you stay in denial about your lifestyle, then you aren’t going to make the needed changes to get you on track to being financially stable. So start looking at where your issues are and what needs to change.

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One area we all need to be more realistic in is “Are we living within our means?” Are we actually spending less than we make? The debt problem in our nation says most of us are not living within our paychecks, so let’s get a reality check. One way to help us be more realistic in our finances is to apply the 50/20/30 rule – 50% of the take home income should go to living essentials (housing, insurance, electricity, food, gas, phones, medical). 20% of the income should be financial goals (vacations, savings and paying off debt) and 30% should be for wants (FYI – internet, haircuts and eating out ALL are extras!).

So let’s look at the math –

Let’s say, as an example, a family has an income of $3500 a month. So $1,750 should go to living expenses, $700 goes to savings/debt and $1,050 goes to wants/going out. Still with me?

Now for the ‘living expenses category’ that allows for $1,750/month, let’s say we are looking at the following expenses –

Rent ($900)

Electricity ($200 during the summer)

Insurance ($300)

Gas ($250)

Grocery/household/pets budget ($800)

Phones ($150)

Medical ($100)

2 car payments ($1000)

Looks about average to you, right? Okay, but do you see the problem?? When this example of living expenses is added up, this category ALONE is taking $3700 monthly. Yes, you read that correctly and YES, THE ENTIRE income is going to living essentials AND it is creating a negative balance.

Tell me – what should be done? Obviously, the extra/wants category (eating out, internet, going out, ect) would need to be completely cut out and the living essentials would need to be cut down by getting rid of a car, moving to a place with lower rent closer to work, forcing yourself to lower the grocery/household/pet budget.

Let’s look at it another way – with living expenses totaling $3500, the family income should be at $7,000/month income. This comes out to making $50/hr on 1 income or $25/hr for 2 incomes. A second job maybe needed to make up the needed income. Here are some ideas on side hustles to help out. Are you ready to be realistic and make some adjusting to change your financial story?

Inspiring financial quotes by Hal ElrodPrinciple #3 – Follow The Rules!

No, you are not the exception and your finances are not the exception. You are not that special, despite what your mom has told you all your life. Over and over again, you will listen to the experts saying things like, “Put savings away first, not last,’ but what is our tendency? Yep, it is to always pay savings last. They say “Communicate, get on the same page.” But that is easier said than done right? They say, “If you are struggling making bills, but you have a good income, you are leaking money somewhere,” but how often do we force the honesty and figure out where it is going? They say, “Don’t split accounts,figure it out together!” “Don’t use credit/payday loans!” and “Live within your means!”’

money and scrabble spelling save

See, the PRINCIPLES stay the same, even when your income varies or you have to be creative to make the principles work for you, but they still will work… if you follow them! So, I challenge you to start implementing what you know to be good financial advice and see how it helps your finances. Even small, baby steps will eventually add up to huge changes.

Leave a comment below and tell me which principle you are going to start on this week.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss our next blog on budgeting and tax refunds. Yes, I include affiliate links in my blogs, it helps me get paid for what I love to do. Thanks for being the patron of your favorite writer! Lydia

Want to read more of my thoughts on budgeting and side hustling? Check these blogs out…

4 Tips to Make The Money Talks As Easy As Getting Fast Food For Dinner!

“But I had NO choices!” #sidehustlin’ when it feels forced on you…

What I Wish I Knew About Finances When I Was In College

15 Reasons You Should Join The #SideHustle Game

5 Tips to Help Your Attitude About Budgeting…

Want to read some of the books I am reading? Check them out on Amazon…

#financial #freedom #sidehustling #budgeting #smallbusiness

Rich Dad Poor Dad personal finances side income budgeting tips

Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

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29 thoughts on “Avoid The Biggest Money Pitfalls With These 3 Financial Principles…

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    • I always pick staples, food we will always eat. It eliminates decisions while I shop and wasted food.
      For instance – we will always eat pasta, beans/rice and bread, so I put those in the cart and try to build meals around those items instead of having a story full of options 🙂

      Like

  4. I think the best advice is to be realistic with your expenses. I learned this the hard way. But now, I’m managing my expenses way better than last year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Solid advice, and I love the examples and scenarios you give to break it down. Significantly more engaging than a lot of financial advice articles I’ve seen. As travelers, we’re always looking for ways to save money. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dave Ramsey is very wise! We struggled implementing some of it due to 2 incomes that vary instead of 2 9-to-5 steady paychecks. However, NOW we know to implement the principles and rules and work the technique out for us (aka – we got paid daily, so we had hold it in the account until a normal Friday payday), he is the one who got me started in finances!

      Like

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