For good measure, to get rid of your existing credit card debt, make sure you pay more than the minimum amount.
Dubai - Break this habit; quit utilising your credit cards and pay for everything you buy with physical cash.
Most of us drift through our daily lives without giving much thought to the habits and behavioural patterns that subconsciously control our spending habits.
Money-related habits can be the most difficult to change, despite being the primary cause of the chaos in your financial life. You have to re-examine these habits in your own financial life to build yourself a stronger chance of rising above this situation.
We've rounded up some of the most common habits that are coming in the way of your financial freedom.
Not developing a financial plan
How many of us actually set up a solid spending plan to guide us through our monthly and daily expenses? If you fail to do so you're letting your hard-earned dirhams slip through your fingers. Spending more than you earn is a behavioural pattern that's sure to lead you down the road to debt. But with a bit of careful budgeting and financial discipline, you can avoid acquiring unnecessary debt in the first place.
When you don't have a financial plan, you will probably overspend and attract extra financial burdens. Making a strong financial plan will help you rein in your excessive spending and relieve you of your debt.
Spending excessively through credit cards
As the familiar saying goes, 'there's no such thing as a free lunch'. When you pay with your credit cards, you're simply putting off the cash deduction towards a later date. Excessive usage of credit cards is one of the most familiar paths to incurring vast amounts of debt.
Break this habit; quit utilising your credit cards and pay for everything you buy with physical cash. In the event that you don't have the cash for it, don't get it. As an added measure, to get rid of your existing credit card debt, make sure you pay more than the minimum amount.
Being loyal to specific brands
There are a few things that you just can't hold back on. For example, if your kids have allergies, you would probably adhere to a particular line of products that helps alleviate it. In such circumstances, it is acceptable to conform towards a brand-based purchasing tendency. However, all other products that you purchase are usually going to serve the same purpose with or without your favourite brand's name on them.
Cultivate a habit of detaching from brand value, and try purchasing non-exclusively every once in a while. You can compare and choose products based on their price, and whether they fit in your budget or not.
A lack of adequate insurance can put you in a place where your debts are much higher and even more unpayable than ever. This is sure to keep you a victim of the debt cycle longer than you'd imagined. With the massive cost of living across the world today, not having the right insurance or being underinsured could leave you in financial ruin if you face an unfortunate circumstance.
Just like a wrong or inadequate car insurance cover can leave you with a massive bill if you're involved in an accident, not having a life insurance policy can jeopardise the financial security of your loved ones. And faced with exorbitant unforeseen expenses, you would find yourself acquiring more debt than you can afford to repay.
A lack of sound investing/saving practices
It is crucial that you learn to put some money aside on a regular basis. If you leave yourself financially unprepared, it creates a vacuum in your budget that gives room for debts to build.
Saving does not always have to be through bank deposits, and can also be made through strong, solid investments. Make sure you manage to set money aside on a regular basis and to funnel it towards an avenue where you see greater returns in the longer run. This could be a high-interest bank account, the stock market, a systematic investment plan, property and more.
The writer is the founder and CEO of Souqalmal.com. Views expressed are her own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.