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When people begin to struggle with their personal finances, there is an interesting and completely counterintuitive psychological effect that is sometimes referred to as the “Ostrich Effect.” The term is based on the erroneous belief that ostriches, when confronted with danger, bury their heads in the sand as a defense mechanism. As it relates to personal finance, the Ostrich Effect refers to a behavior in which people begin to completely ignore their finances due to the presence of difficult circumstances.
Obviously, difficult financial issues must be addressed head-on and sometimes require creative strategies for cutting costs, so figuratively burying your head in the sand is the worst possible approach. It wouldn’t be wise to ignore the need for roofing Phoenix in the hope that the problem will just go away, as it should be obvious that a small roof leak will only expand and cause greater damage the longer it goes unaddressed. The same is true of personal financial matters.
For some, it may feel better to ignore the problem and delay the stress it will surely bring in relatively short order, but the simple truth of the matter is that getting your finances in order as quickly as possible is the only intelligent approach. Fortunately, accomplishing this is actually not all that difficult, as many people have unnecessary expenses (most of which they are surprisingly unaware of) that can be eliminated to save money now and in the future. Anyone struggling with their finances should take the time to work out a solution by considering some of the strategies that follow.
Eliminating Unnecessary Expenses
“Unnecessary expenses” is a phrase that likely evokes visions of the money wasted dining out at nice restaurants or on the vehicle that includes a monthly payment that increasingly feels like a millstone. If these are among your actual expenditures, then you have plenty of places to cut costs. Cut down on restaurants and make more meals at home and, if possible, sell the vehicle and find something more practical that better suits your budget. After all, it is most important that you are able to get to and from work without breaking your budget in doing so.
The reality is that many of the truly unnecessary expenses are not so easily recognizable. When you evaluate what you are spending each month, consider the costs associated with your banking. Does you bank charge you each time you use your debit card or levy a monthly fee if you do not use it enough? If that is the case, consider researching banks that don’t charge so many fees and have programs in place that reward you for banking with them instead of penalizing you.
The same is true of other financial professionals, as various fees and charges can quickly eat away at your return on investment. Simply take a few moments to evaluate whether or not your investment strategy is as efficient as it should be.
Taking Charge of Credit Card Debt
There has been a lot of talk about interest rates going on the rise in the near future, and credit card interest is one of the most unnecessary expenses imaginable. In 2015, the average household paid an astonishing amount in interest, with the figure of $6,658 demonstrating just how wasteful it is to carry credit card debt for any extended period of time.
If you have sizable debt and are struggling with your finances, one of the smartest strategies is to focus on eradicating the cost of interest from credit card debt. It is easy to just go on paying the minimum each month as though you are punting on the responsibility, but paying the minimum will cost you a great deal more in the long run. With your credit card debt in check, you will find that your finances will become a lot easier to manage in the future.