3 Things You Would Never Expect to Affect Your Finances
When keeping track of your finances, it is always important to know what impacts them and how. Knowing how your credit utilization, savings habits, and other factors have an effect on your finances can help you maintain stability and peace of mind.
Just because you understand financial topics, doesn’t mean you have fully protected yourself. So many factors have an impact on your financial well-being, even the tiniest of factors can have a huge negative impact. All the different variables can add up quickly, so here are 3 things which you never thought would affect your finances.
1. Your Sleep Schedule
Sleep is a vital part of your daily routine. Sleep deprivation can cause numerous issues including impaired brain activity, memory problems, moodiness, and even a weakened immune system. So how do these factors relate to your finances? A lack of mental awareness can lead to poor financial decision making such as knee-jerk investments, impulse purchases, etc. These irrational decisions can lead you to spend more than you can afford and in turn get yourself into tremendous debt. A compromised immune system will increase the chances that you’ll come down with a cold, or worse. The added medical expenses and days missed from work could put a significant strain on your wallet. Memory problems could also have you forget to pay your bills on time which impacts your credit score and so much more.
When it comes to sleep, consistency is key, and giving yourself a specific time to hit the hay at night could be just what you need to ensure you get enough rest. Another thing to consider is avoiding backlit devices (iPads, phones, etc) when trying to fall asleep. Light can suppress melatonin production, making it harder for you to fall asleep on time.
2. Gyms, Libraries, and Your Cell Phone
We all expect to see credit cards, student loans, and mortgages on our credit reports, but even small things such as overdue library books, unpaid cell phone bills, and missed gym fees can wind up on there as well. Recently, more and more businesses are reporting unpaid debts to credit bureaus, which can result in some surprising red marks on your credit report. These oversights can have a major impact on our credit scores and, consequently, our financial health. The debts will add up over time and in-turn can have a bigger impact on your financial health than you may think.
If you’re worried about the impact these, or any other factors might have on your credit report, you may want to take the time to review it. Sites like Annual Credit Report, Credit Karma, and Experian can provide you with a copy of your credit report for little to no cost. Taking the time to look over your report can help you identify problem areas with regards to your credit and devise plans to solve them.
3. An Unexpected Windfall
While an unexpected windfall may be exciting, “free” money isn’t always 100% free. Whether it be through gambling or inheritance, the money is usually still accompanied by a tax form. Unfortunately, some people tend to forget about this little slip of paper and spend a large chunk of their money before fully understanding what they could owe. This tends to cause many problems by the time tax season comes around. In some cases, people could potentially end up owing more than they received, causing unwanted debts. Tax laws are very confusing but professionals and online resources are a great way to prepare yourself. Doing your research and exercising a little self-control right after receiving your windfall could help you avoid a massive financial headache.
While financial surprises can be a hassle to deal with, they should be relatively easy to handle providing you already have a strong financial base. Taking the time to learn personal finance basics, building an emergency fund, and minimizing financial stressors (such as debt) can help make tackling the unexpected much easier. Have your finances ever been affected in a surprising way? Let us know in the comments below!