I work in finance and I'd like to offer a few tid bits to make your financial life more pleasant and my job tolerable.
First of all, I sincerely desire to see people thrive financially. Even if you can't thrive, you can stay afloat if you are responsible and accountable. I have been doing this for almost 10 years. I realize many people have been in this business a lot longer, but I have seen enough that I feel I can offer a few nuggets of advice that may save people some headache in the long run.
1. Pay day loan companies are predatory. I know things get tight and unexpected expenses happen, but I have had people in my office literally weep because they didn't read the fine print online and are paying a 200% interest rate. Avoid pay day loan companies. They are more dangerous than helpful.
2. On a related note, if you already are having problems paying your bills, loans are not the answer. You are only adding to your financial burden because it's just something else you have to pay back. It may serve as a bandaid for the moment, but you will be in worse shape next month when you have yet another payment you are responsible for.
3. BUDGET and keep track DAILY of what you spend. Do NOT rely on overdraft and convenience services to make sure your transactions are covered.
4. BEFORE you give your account / card info to any merchant, website or individual, make sure you are comfortable with it. Don't give it out and then change your mind. In other words, it's your responsibility to protect your assets. Giving out your information without thinking it through is negligence on your part.
5.Pay your bills FIRST when you get your paycheck. THEN do whatever else you need to do. Trust me. I beg of you, listen to me on this.