11. You do not have a money plan (or a financial plan).
The biggest reason people stay poor, according to Elle Martinez of Couple Money, is “not having a plan for their money.” “It is easy to hope that there is money left over at the end of the month, but many times, our behavior gets in the way.”
To curb behavior and work against bad spending habits, she suggests automating bills, saving and investing as soon as paychecks come in. “It’ll cushion the blow when emergencies pop up, and you’ll have something for retirement,” she said.
12. You don’t know where your money is going.
Donna Freedman, a personal finance expert and writer, said the biggest thing she sees keeping people in the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle is not having a budget.
“If you don’t know where your money is currently going, you can’t turn it in the direction you’d prefer it would do the most good,” Freedman said, whether that’s saving up an emergency fund, staying current on rent or mortgage payments, working toward retirement savings or even paying for a vacation in cash.
“When you know you have enough money to deal with all of your needs and some of your wants — plus those pesky emergencies — you can sleep very well at night.”