Updated: Mar 30
June 20, 2022
In today's economy, things have gotten even worse. Prices are astronomical due to inflation, and employers aren't handing out raises anytime soon.
Every day people work so hard and are left with not very much to show for it.
Waiting around for employers to see your true value and for prices to decrease if you don't take action.
When deciding to build my personal finance community, I had to look hard at how I was handling the money I was already making since I was not getting more anytime soon.
When I was honest with myself, I was able to make changes that started my journey to building my savings and reaching my financial goals.
You can give yourself that much-deserved raise by making a few adjustments to your finances.
In this article, I will tell you how I,
escaped the payday loan madness,
took control of my finances and,
started saving money, which allowed me to give myself a raise.
Escape the Payday Loan Cycle!
Now you probably think I'm going to give some tricks of the trade on how to get out of paying your payday loan.
Sorry! I'm not.
Not because I don't want to, I just don't have one.
The truth of the matter is that payday loans are ruthless.
In a crisis, people often think in the heat of the moment. They make quick financial decisions, not because they want to live above their means, but because they need money quickly and don’t have anywhere else to turn.
Payday loans are some of the easiest loans to take out, so that's why most people get stuck with them.
Especially for people with no credit or bad credit, you might think that the upfront cost is so low for a couple of hundred dollars it's worth it.
But have you ever wondered how much you really pay for a payday loan?
Typically $10 to $30 for every $100 borrowed, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If a payday lender charges $15 for a $100 two-week loan, that’s a 391% APR, according to Jackie Veiling in NerdWallet
I don’t know about you, but that APR makes me cringe!
She also mentions that if the loan isn’t repaid in full on the first payday, a fee is added, and the cycle repeats. Within a few months, borrowers can end up owing more in interest than the original loan amount.
I know this to be true, and that’s why I have often found myself hustling to get in line at payday loan establishments, wondering when I'm going to get off this roller coaster.
To break the cycle, I had to grab the first opportunity I could to pay it off and never go back when I was in a jam for money.
There are so many other alternatives to borrowing money instead of getting a payday loan.
My advice is if you have not made this mistake, don't.
However, I decided to try a different route.
I decided to use my next income tax to get out of the rut, as suggested by G. Brain Davis, an author of Money Crashers.
I was tired of the roller coaster ride of paying the loan off, then turning right back around to take another loan literally the same day!
I really had no choice at the time. I lived check-to-check.
But I paid off my payday loan using my next income tax check, and I was finally free.
After that sigh of relief, I was determined never to go back.
It hurt for a minute because I had less money in my pocket at the moment.
But that's the thing about the journey I was about to go on. Saving money is not about the moment. It's about the journey.
I was repetitively living in the moment and making financial decisions based on the moment. This led to my decision to get a payday loan in the first place.
This kind of thinking had to stop now that I was free.
I decided to search for help on the Internet. I was determined to take control of my finances.
Take Control of the Finances!
When I searched the internet for ways to take control of my finances, I came across this familiar word, "Budget."
It gave me a place to start when I began to create my own budget.
As I read, I evaluated my spending habits and was honest with myself. I was mimicking what I was taught growing up about money.
Spend, spend, spend!
I decided then and there to break the cycle. I created a budget.
It sounds like hard work, but it’s a really simple thing to do that will change your relationship with money.
Once I took inventory of exactly what I was bringing home, I could analyze how I was spending money and what I was spending it on.
At the time, I was a single parent raising my children on a teacher's salary. So, believe me when I say the goal was not to get rich.
My goal was to take control of my finances, manage my money and eliminate the stress of living from check to check.
At least avoid a situation where I needed a payday loan again, and frankly, I wanted my “raise.”
Now that I have created a budget, I had to put it into practice and be determined to save.
I looked at what I was spending. I noticed that there were things that I didn't need.
I was practically throwing money away.
This made me take to the internet and find more ways to save money.
This article gave me the ammunition to put my budget into high gear. This immediately turned me into the slash queen. I started slashing through things I didn't need at all.
For example, why was I paying for cable? $250 for internet and premium channels when I only watched a few channels.
My kids only watch 2 or 3 shows between Disney and Nickelodeon. I slashed that off and went down to just the internet and 2 streaming channels. Immediately, I saved $100.
It went straight into my savings account!
I looked at how much I had spent on clothes. I am a shoe lover, and I also had a problem with looking at a cute piece of clothing on Pinterest or wherever and feeling, "I have to have it."
That needed to change.
I decided then and there not to fall for the "I've got to have it" trap. I evaluated whether I needed the item or if I just wanted it.
I know I work hard, so I should be able to treat myself, but this was different. I needed my raise more!
Spending money on clothes every week is not treating myself. I had to be realistic and remember my goal. I saved about $100. This was only the beginning.
Major Take Away
We all have different circumstances and reasons we're in a financial rut.
My personal financial rut was a payday loan. It was also a lack of knowledge about money and making irresponsible choices.
Whatever your rut is, I strongly believe you can decide your next steps in getting out of that rut and give yourself the raise you deserve.