As per CNBC America, 67% of Americans think that they save enough money; however, around 54% have a level of debt exceeding their savings which tells a very different story. Now, this phenomenon is not only limited to America but to almost all western and developing countries. At the same time 58% of today's generation believes that their financial planning needs improvement, but at the time, 34% have done nothing to plan for their future finances.
So, what are we waiting for? let's hit the list...
- The number one reason that will keep us poor is unnecessary Credit Card Purchases. As per Statista, In 2019 there were 22.8 Billion credit cards in circulation across the world. This number is mind boggling, as it shows that people are holding more than three credit cards even if we go by the world average. The reason is we are often swayed away by credit card companies offering loyalty points or interest-free credit. It pushes us to buy things that we don't require. Plus, if we forget to pay any installments on time then it leads further penalties. Credit card forces us to make poor spending decisions and therefore, it is essential to understand the importance and urgency before buying anything, especially using a credit card.
- Number two on the list is not buying insurance. Many millennials and Gen Z sees insurance as an unnecessary expenditure. However, people don't understand the importance of insurance unless they face any health or life casualties. Insurance helps protect the family and helps in paying for huge hospital bills if one is diagnosed with any severe ailment.
- Number three is thinking that it is too early to start saving and investing. Most young people want to save enough for their retirement; however, they believe they have a lot of time and they can start saving after a few years. However, it is never too early to start saving and investing.
- Number 4 in the list is not budgeting the expenses. According to a study conducted by Intuit in the USA, 65% of the people have no idea where they spent their money in the last month and 31% regret how much they spent. Not having a budget at the beginning of a month leads to excessive expenditure on unnecessary things.
- Most of us rely on only one source of income which is also the reason no. 5 that keeps us poor. According to the research conducted by Tom Corley, author of the book "Rich Habits Poor Habits" which comprises a survey of 233 wealthy individuals, 65% of the respondents had three sources of income, 45% had four, and 29% had more than 5 sources of income. It is very intuitive and logical that multiple sources of income helps in creation of wealth especially in a world where one cannot rely on just one source of income. According to United Nations Development Program (UNDP), 20% of full time employees lost their jobs in Nigeria in 2020 due to the pandemic (COVID - 19). Therefore, one must try to develop multiple sources of income.
- Wise man says," time is money", one of the major reasons that decrease our chances of becoming rich is wasting time on Internet and OTT. It is estimated that Gen Z spends more than five hours on social media and OTT daily. This time can be utilized to learn new skills, start a side hustle, read books, etc. However, people waste their time in Binge watching Netflix.
- Another habit that depletes our savings and our health is poor eating habits. Tons of research show that regularly eating out leads to obesity and multiple ailments. Also, unhealthy fast food is not suitable for our brain, hurting our cognitive ability.
Are you overwhelmed by following these habits? If yes, it is the right time to think about it and bring some positive change. This list is non-exhaustive, and there will be many more habits that keeps us poor. So, do mention such habits in the comments.
The Author, Gaurav Bohra is a post graduate from IIM Rohtak and works for a renowned global Management Consulting firm.