Having financial stability is important, but it can be difficult to think about long-term saving when we’re struggling to make ends meet right now. With increased inflation, cost of living increases, and the ups and downs in the job market, saving for the future doesn’t seem as important as trying to pay our bills right now. This is natural.
According to Yahoo Finance, here are the top 10 most common household bills that consumers are worried about paying in 2023:
- Utilities (73% of survey respondents)
- Auto insurance: 63%
- Cable and internet: 63%
- Mobile phone: 62%
- Alarm and security: 51%
- Health insurance: 50%
- Life insurance: 44%
- Dental insurance: 42%
- Auto loan: 42%
- Mortgage: 39%
- Rent: 33%
Let’s take a look at how we might be able to get back on track now so we might worry less in the future.
Prioritize Debt Repayments
“American households in total hold $11.67 trillion in debt, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That’s up $2.36 trillion since the end of 2019, before COVID-19. The price of mortgages, auto loans, and other services have increased over the last several years as inflation has risen and the aftereffects of COVID-19 have lingered.” (Bankrate)
If you have outstanding debts, prioritize their repayments in your budget. High-interest credit card debts and personal loans should be paid off first to avoid accumulating more debt. Establishing a debt-repayment plan can not only reduce your financial burden, but it can also help you build better credit and save money in the long run.
Automating your savings is one of the easiest ways to make sure you’re consistent with your saving habits. Setting up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account on your payday can help ensure you never have to worry about remembering to save money each month. If you’re not able to save much each month, consider using a savings app that rounds your purchases to the nearest dollar and saves the difference for you.
Seek Professional Help
Finally, if you’re struggling to make progress with your finances, seek help from a financial planner. They can help you create a realistic and achievable plan that fits your financial situation. Look for financial planners who are approachable, nonjudgmental, and easy to talk to. Hire the one that you feel most comfortable with and trust their advice; this is their strongest value to you. Advisors can also offer advice on how to pay off debt, invest in your future, save for retirement, and manage your finances overall.
Living paycheck to paycheck is a very real problem for many people – but it might not have to be that way. If you’re ready to take control of your finances, I would love to talk to you about actionable steps you can take now. There are also things you can do on your own; this article, 6 Bills Americans Worry About Most in 2023 — and How To Lower Them from Yahoo Finance offers some tips on lowering some of your everyday bills.