Many factors affect your personal finances, including your career choice, your salary, where you live, how you and your family budget your money, healthcare costs, your debt, inflation, and sometimes sheer luck. Here are some insights into the factors that can affect your personal finances negatively and ways to counteract them.

Credit Card Debt

The average Canadian has over $25,000 in consumer debt. If you don’t want your finances to get out of control it’s important to start paying down your credit card debt now. If your balance is so high that you can’t pay it in full, try to start by paying a little over the minimum each month so you can reduce your interest. Avoid adding to your credit card debt by leaving your plastic at home. Save up a special fund for emergencies you won’t have to use your credit card again later.

Buying a Car

You have to have a car to get to work, to take the kids to school, to pick up the groceries and to take a vacation. But buying a new car can become a financial nightmare if you’re not careful. The first thing to remember is to go car shopping at the right time of year, this being late summer or early fall. Shop around different dealerships and do your research on the car you’re trading in. Look for great deals on last year’s model such as the Chrysler 200. You can often get a better deal and a good finance rate when you purchase an end of model year vehicle.

A Negative Mindset

It’s hard to stay positive when you’re worrying about money. But having a negative mindset can actually influence your financial choices adversely in these ways

  • Spending anxiety: It can prevent you from taking appropriate financial risks because you’re afraid of making mistakes and incurring higher debt. If you must antagonize over money, limit it to just ten minutes each day, so the rest of the time you can be more objective.
  • Peer jealousy: Don’t fall into the trap of trying to keep up with the Joneses. Instead, live within your means and be thankful that you aren’t drowning in debt, and that you have a retirement plan and a savings account.
  • Self-torture: Stop beating yourself up over a bad financial decision you made in the past. Instead of wallowing in regret, use your energy to learn from your mistake and move on to better spending habits.
  • Self-sabotaging guilt: You’ve had a lucky break, maybe a good return on an investment, or you sold your house for more than it was worth, don’t feel guilty. Stop telling yourself you don’t deserve this and enjoy having some extra cash.

Financial worries are one of the biggest stressors in life today. Many Canadians are living from paycheck to paycheck; some are barely making ends meet. This is why it’s important to always bear these money influencers in mind so you can keep your personal finances under control.