5 Habits that keep you poor
Trinidad and Tobago is primarily an oil and gas economy with a vast majority of its skilled citizens earning high salaries in the English speaking Caribbean. But if you think most Trinbagonians have piles of money, good credit and low amounts of debt. - You'd be dead wrong!
Let's review 5 things that keep us in debt
Habit 1. - Using Credit Cards
The first habit keeping us poor is credit card dependency. True, a credit card may be the better option when it comes to paying monthly bills. Given the state of the pandamic where staying at home is highly advised. - Paying online vs standing in line really needs no further debate or a mask for that matter.
Credit-cards are a staple of regular life.
It makes shopping online effortless. It's a big help in an emergency but gives the fallacy that you've more money than you actually do. Hence the temptation to buy things you cannot afford. A daily challenge for most of us. Especially if you're bombarded with advertisements 24 hours a day, it's no wonder Trinidadian's as of 2020 are millions of dollars in credit-card debt.
Habit 2. - Spontaneous shopping
Ever walked into JTA supermarket to get one item, only to walk out with two bags full?
Making purchase decisions at the moment most times can lead to buyers remorse later on. Before I go to the supermarket, I make a shopping list. I also take pictures of what's in my cupboard using my phone. So I don't buy more of what's not needed.
Also, I use cash as a way to not spend more than I intend to. And lastly on this point, having a full meal before you go to the store is always a good idea.
Habit 3. - Not Budgeting
Seeing the ins and outs of your cash flow puts you in a much better position to take control of your spending. And this is why budgeting is so very important. How can you set boundaries if you can't see the bigger picture? Budgeting and planning will help you set spending priorities based on the important "needs" in your life.
Planning a budget doesn't cost you anything.
Habit 4. - Not Investing intelligently
Saving is good but investing and saving is so much better.
Carnival is a perfect example of how some Trinidadians invest money badly. Yes, they want to wine and have a good time! I didn't say no, but when Judit buys a Carnival costume for $5000, all-inclusive fete tickets costing $1800 and sprees $800 at a cooler fete! To me that's just a lot of money to spend on carnival, even if you can afford it.
Even the banks and credit unions are advertising "You can wine now and pay later with a Carnival Loan!"
I have noticed banks and credit unions advertising loans for carnival, "wine now and pay later". Targeting party enthuasisats with predetory lending. And for the vast collective, millions of dollars are spent over the carnival period. Some like my friend, Ms Mark Sixteen in the corner there, will put themselves in debt to wine.
When it comes to spending exorbitant wads of cash, I'd prefer to invest in things that earn income - This could be starting a business, buying a maxi taxi, a little doubles business or putting savings towards a downpayment on property.
Habit 5. - Keeping track of spending
Knowing where every single penny went is are a real eye-opener. I never bothered with keeping track of my expenses in the past. To be honest, I wasn't the most consistent as I found it a bit tedious. But now, with free software apps, I can keep track of my bills easily. Your spending patterns are easier to spot when you record them.
With tracking, you'd soon come to realize that they're many instances where you don't need to spend.
I guess for most of us, money disappears when we don't have a plan, nomatter how much we have. Start planning to day, start your cashback account with POINT-LOG to earn when you spend.
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