Sometimes people can become seriously in debt from seemingly out of nowhere. They think their finances are fine, while they keep buying on credit and whipping out their credit cards. Then one day they realize they have more bills than money is available to pay for them. Don’t let this financial scenario happen to you. If you see yourself in any of the following money situations, it’s time to take a close look at your debt problems and rein in on spending.
At the end of each month, or whenever you pay your monthly bills, do you find yourself juggling bills and deciding which is the most important to pay on time? This is a true warning sign that you are headed for financial trouble. A sign of big debt problems is if you’re considering which essential bills to pay late, such as paying the mortgage versus paying the utility bill.
Are you using your credit cards to pay for small things, such as gas or lunch money, to get you by until pay day? If you are using the credit cards for convenience or to build up air miles or whatever, that is one thing. (But pay the balance in full each month!) But if you are using credit cards to pay for a tank of gas because you don’t have any money in your bank account, it’s time to take a closer look at your budget. Find out where you can cut costs.
Speaking of credit cards, how much of the balance do you pay off each month? Do you pay them in full at the end of each month? (This is highly recommended, if possible.) Do you pay your credit card bills on time each month, or do you often find yourself paying them late? Are you only paying the minimum payment each month?
If you pay your credit cards late on even a semi-regular basis or you only pay the minimum amounts because that’s all that you can afford, it’s time to stop using them until you can get the credit card balances paid down more. If you don’t stop, your credit scores will be seriously damaged. Plus, if you keep paying only the minimum balances, you will likely never get the credit cards paid in full.
An obvious sign of debt problems is if you are overdrawn on your bank account frequently. This is a serious threat to anyone’s cash flow, as bank charges are steep and quickly add up.
If these money problems look familiar to you, there are solutions. Most everyone goes through financial crises at least once during their lives. Try taking a hard look at your expenses and eliminate whatever you can.
Try eating out less or not at all, renting movies instead of going to the theater, playing board games instead of going out, staying away from malls and spending temptations, and any other ways you can cut your finances down. Take the extra money that you saved and pay down loans and credit cards. It may take awhile and not be a lot of fun, but debt problems can be solved.