Is your income drastically less?

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Tips for Debt-Free Living

In today’s economy where the real value of our fortnightly income is drastically less then what its nominal value is, people tend to borrow money in order to meet their daily living expenses.

Loan sharks, or more commonly known here as ‘dinau, or book-in man/meri’, are making a good living off people who tend to find themselves needing extra money every now and then.

But like any loan shark the interest rates are excessive and instead of solving one problem people find that they end up in more debt than they could have foreseen.

Excessive SpendingBut how does one stave off the need to borrow in this economy? Here are a few tips to avoid borrowing.

It is unavoidable, that temptation to spend more than you plan to.

Nowadays, there’s a lot more variety and all at various prices, you go into a shop and even before you get inside you see sales notices with ‘20% discount’ or ‘at the low price of…’

It’s no wonder people come home with more than expected.

So what do you do?

Always have a shopping list. Yes, simple as it seems if you have list of things you ‘need’ and not ‘want’ and stick to what is on that list your bound to avoid going into a shop buying every single thing you ‘think’ you need.

 

A shopping list will ensure that your shopping is guided and where you find yourself thinking about purchasing an item that’s not on your list you’ll think a lot more about whether it’s worth buying or not.

Most parents may find it difficult to shop with their children especially if you’re on a tight budget and you can’t afford to indulge your child’s every whim.

Try to avoid taking your children to the store that way they’re not nagging you for something you can’t say no to buying or just to avoid making a scene when they throw a tantrum in public.

Budget

A budget can be exhausting for those who hate crunching numbers, keeping receipts or even planning.

But if it means it’s going to save you a few extra bucks what’s a few hours spent on a budget compared to having literally no money in your pocket.

Budgets as tedious as they may seem will become simple and easier to manage once you get accustomed to it.

Budgets require a lot of will power on your part because again you may be tempted to spend more on one aspect of your budget than others.

But it calls on you to be disciplined and accountable for the use of your money so that you’re not shuffling money allocated for one expense around trying to cover for another.

Budgets are personal and are tailored to cater for whatever it is you require that money to be used for.

Essentially you get a lot wiser with the use of your money (so they say) that eventually you will be able to save more and spend less because you recognize how to make your money work for you.

Avoid Borrowing

There’s a quote in a famous Hemmingway novel “…I try not to borrow.  First you borrow.  Then you beg.” This basically sums up everything about borrowing.

Once you develop the habit it gets harder to stop. It’s always good in the beginning, first it’s easy to pay off but as you continue to do so the amount increases, as well as the interest rate.

Before long you’re head over heels in debt and you’re struggling to survive because everything you earn goes straight to repaying your ‘dinau’ that you find yourself borrowing just to pay off the previous loan.

By saying ‘no’ to borrowing and living within your means you avoid the risk of getting yourself stuck in the ‘dinau cycle’ (or borrower’s cycle).

Living debt-free in this economy is hard, coupled with the fact that in our smaller familial circles there are customary obligations that one cannot avoid as well as the occasional requests from relatives.

It is important to be able to encourage saving for the future and acquiring healthy fiscal habits to avoid living in-debt.

Rositta Liosi

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