5 Most Common Money Problems

Black Lab Puppy

Money Problem Waiting to Happen!

Money problems plague all of us, and not all of them have to do with unexpected expenses.  In fact, most money problems we create are self imposed.

Why do I talk about money problems?  Having money problems keeps you from getting out of student loan debt, prevents you from saving, and ultimately, prevents you from investing – which is what this site is all about.

Here are five of the most common money problems that we all will face at some point in our lives, and some thoughts on dealing with them.

 

Money Problem #1: Having a Pet

One of the first money problems you may encounter is owning and affording a pet.  There is so much discussion on the true cost of a pet, but the bottom line is that they are an expensive family friend.  You will spend money on food, vet bills, toys, and more.  There will come a day when you want to take a vacation, and guess what, you’ll need to board your pet, or pay someone you trust to come be a pet sitter.

The money problems with pets don’t stop there either – you may also have to pay for expensive vet bills should anything happen.  Once you fall in love with them, the vets go to school to learn how to tug on your heart strings just right to get you to agree to 1,000s of dollars of tests, just to let you know your pet has indigestion.  You really have to be careful with the potential money problem.

 

Money Problem #2: Buying a House

The Money PitBuying a house is usually the next big money problem most people encounter.  How is this a money problem?  A house and real estate are usually great investments?  That’s not always true…just ask anyone who has bought a house in the last 5 years or so.

Plus, have you ever seen the movie The Money Pit?  Yup…that’s what a house can become if you’re not careful.  Beyond just paying your mortgage, insurance, utilities, and possibly association dues, you will have to maintain your house.  This is where the real money problems can arise.  Even doing simple maintenance around the house, like maintaining the yard, can cost you several hundred dollars a month. Then, if something actually needs to be fixed, it can cost a whole lot more than that!

The bottom line is that buying a house isn’t for the feint of heart.

 

Money Problem #3: Having a Kid

4 Kids is Expensive

That’s 4 Money Problems!

The next money problem on the list is having a kid.  Kids are expensive, and they can cause a lot of money problems for young families especially.  Just look at the statistics from the US Department of Agriculture, which highlight that raising a child can easily cost in excess of $200,000!  That’s a big money problem to me!

Just starting a childbirth, which can easily cost over $20,000 if you don’t have insurance.  Just look at this recent article highlighting the cost to bring home baby.  Then you have to feed it, clothe it, which it will then grow out of the clothes you already bought, so rinse and repeat for 18 years.

Talk about putting a stumbling block in your retirement plans!

 

Money Problem #4: Eating

eating money problems

Yum! Good Money!

One of the biggest money problems that I deal with everyday is food.  Food is expensive AND it’s a catch-22: I need to eat, but I have to pay to eat.  Not fair.  I could easily use that money to go towards something more productive, like investing!

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown that food prices have risen 1.2% over the last 12 months alone.  I guess I could grow some of my own food in my yard, but then I still have to pay for seeds, water, fertilizer, and more.  Plus, having a yard means that I’m already dealing with Money Problem #2: Buying a House.

I really just wish food wasn’t so expensive.  It’s probably my biggest expense after housing, and I feel like I don’t really get my money’s worth on this one.

 

Money Problem #5: Having a Life

If you haven’t noticed yet, the truth is, the biggest money problems all come from living life.  There is nothing wrong with any of these expenses.  Almost everyone has them.  The trouble is when one of them gets out of balance from the others, and starts becoming a drain on your finances.  Everyone has housing, food, and more.  It’s a must.  You can’t let it stop you from living.

But you also can’t let it stop you from saving or investing.  You need to balance.

The most common money problems are ones that everyone faces, just deal with the math and move on!

What’s your take on the five most common money problems?

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  • http://thomassmoore.com Thomas S. Moore

    In general just living can actually be a money problem and even dying since someone will have to pay for the funeral. You just have to be smart come up with a plan, follow it and make adjustments as needed. The pet one has been an ongoing expense for us. We decided if something happens to our dog we are not getting another one.

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com Robert

      I agree that dying can be as much of a money problem as living, but with dying, it’s now someone else’s problem since you’re gone.

      • http://thirtysixmonths.com Marissa @ Thirtysixmonths

        Hhahahaha. I may have spit out my coffee reading this.

      • http://thomassmoore.com Thomas S. Moore

        Good point!! But we are responsible adults and wouldn’t want to put that on someone else now would we?

  • http://www.frugalrules.com John S @ Frugal Rules

    I agree with many of them and having three young children I can definitely relate to #3. But, you find ways to make do and not go all out. We’re feeling #1 right now as our cat has to be on some special food do to an infection he got years ago. That food is expensive, I think he eats better than we do. :)

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com Robert

      My dog is the same way…she was such a picky eater and literally wouldn’t eat for days unless we got her this food.

  • http://moneylicious.org Ornella @ Moneylicious

    I think some people are not prepared for the extra expenses that comes with buying a cute dog. And it’s not just the expenses, but the time. During a time in my life, I had a beautiful black dog. He was taken out for a walk or run two to three times a day. Now, cats….well, that’s a different story. I’ve got a cat from the shelter, maybe 9 years ago, and she is very easy to take care of. Except, she is taken to the pet grooming for wash.

  • http://www.brickbybrickinvesting.com Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin

    I can definitely relate to #3 we pay $300/week in daycare for our daughter and that’s just one expense! As for #2 I don’t believe you should purchase a home unless you pay cash and are going to be set in place for more than 10 years.

  • http://www.yoursmartmoneymoves.com Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

    Great list of “Money Problems” and thank you for including a link to my article as well!

    Thanks!

    Happy Holidays!

  • http://www.thefreefinancialadvisor.com/average-joes-money-blog/ AverageJoe

    As a former advisor, #2 and #3 were the biggies that we helped people deal with a ton. It was frustrating to watch people jump into a home transaction or have a child without really thinking through the financial implications.

  • http://Luke1428.com Brian Fourman

    This is a good list and these are all challenges we face with our finances every day. I agree that most of our money issues are self-imposed as we make poor life decisions. However, I think I’m having a mental block viewing my house purchase or the food I eat or my four kids as “money problems” – unwelcome life hindrances that I have to overcome. I consider the money I pour into these three areas to be an investment in my life enjoyment. And while I spend a lot in these areas, it doesn’t really get me frustrated. The last thing I’m thinking about when I take the six of us to a Japanese steakhouse for a fun family night is that the meal is setting me back $100+ dollars on my retirement fund.

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com Robert

      First, I don’t think that many people do realize the choices they make and how they can become money problems. I think most people need to be more self aware when it comes to it.

      However, with Food and Life, and all of these, I was being sarcastic and relating it all back to #5 – life. The bottom line is that life in general is a money “problem” – it takes money to live, and you have to decide how much to spend. Its the choices we make everyday that make life possible!

      • http://Luke1428.com Brian Fourman

        Guess that is why I was having a mental block, I missed the sarcasm. Thanks for focusing me in on that.

  • http://evolvingpf.com/ Emily @ evolvingPF

    I guess these money problems are so common because they are supposed to bring tons of joy and satisfaction to your life (for a price). We really struggle with how much to spend on food. I want to spend more, my husband wants to spend less. We just have different values in that respect. We have an inexpensive life but have avoided 1-3 so far – we’re just not ready yet for those commitments.

  • http://reachfinancialindependence.com Pauline

    If you have a problem, it means there is a solution. Many people say having kids really pushed them harder to earn more and be more productive. With things like pets or houses, it is easier to get rid of your problem should you not want to accept responsibility, but if having kids and eating is a problem in your daily life you should really look for financial help.

  • http://www.mypersonalfinancejourney.com/ Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey

    Money problems happen because of our choices — having a pet or kids, buying a house, and eating. But they can be prevented if we choose not to have a kid or a pet, or we choose to eat at home than in a fancy restaurant. Unfortunately, we cannot choose between buying a house or renting it as both will cause money problem. Living a simple, frugal life will help reduce our money problem.