Personal Finances and the 5 Subtle Signs Yours May Be a Mess
National Debt Relief released an article recently in which they discussed the ways consumers can find out when their financial situations are becoming problematic. The article titled “Personal finances and the five subtle signs yours may be a mess,” offered some tips to help the consumer identify the warning signs by which he can know if his finances are already in a mess, or if he needs to take preemptive action.
The article cited a study by Northwestern Mutual, a Life Insurer, in which eighty-five percent of Americans are concerned about facing a financial emergency. Their personal finances are in such dire straits that they can’t save up enough cash to handle an emergency. According to the study, they are concerned about the fear of losing their jobs and the fear of an extended period of unemployment. These concerns are having adverse effects on people’s happiness, careers, and even their health.
The main reason for their concern is that many of them are wallowing in debt with many living paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time. Only about forty percent of us have more than one thousand dollars in a savings account, which leaves many people flirting with financial disaster. What’s even worse is that many people are either unwilling or unable to do anything to change their circumstances.
The article offers five signs by which you can know if your personal finances may be a mess.
- You don’t know where your money goes.
The first sign that your finances are a mess is when you don’t know where your money goes every month. Some people feel that their funds just seem to disappear into thin air. The simple solution to this is that they should track their spending for a few months to have an idea where the funds are going. It will also help you to prioritize and be able to pay their debts better.
- There are months when you can’t pay your credit card bill
The second sign that you could be in a financial mess is if you are already missing your credit card payments. People often overlook the fact that credit cards rates are often the highest of their payments and missing one-month payment could cause the following amount due to increase because of added penalties and fees. The solution is to pay the full amount each month and use your credit card responsibly by not making impulse purchases.
- You buy things by cutting back on the necessities
Another sign that your finances are a mess is when you lose track of your spending priorities by spending on luxury items instead of the necessities. When you are having a hard time covering the basics because you spend on things that are nice to have then, you have lost track of your priorities. A budgeting system will solve this problem. You will need to list all your essential expenses such as housing, food, utilities, insurance savings, and transportation. Whatever you have left after you have budgeted for these items can go to your discretionary spending.
- You don’t always pay your bills on time
When consumers are not able to pay not just their credit card bill but most of their bills on time, this is also a clear sign that they are in a financial mess. They are trying to perform a juggling act with their payments and missing every deadline along the way. The idea is to develop a budgeting system that would let them know ahead of time when a payment is due so that they will ample time to prepare to send out the payment.
- You overdraw your bank account occasionally
Finally, your finances are a mess when you overdraw your bank account. Overdrawing your account is accompanied by an overdraft charge of thirty-three dollars, the average overdraft fee charged by banks. So, a cup of coffee at Starbucks that cost about three dollars could end up costing you almost forty if you overdraft your checking account. The remedy for this is to have your bank turn off overdraft protection.
These five signs are real indicators of whether your personal finances are becoming a problem. When you recognize any of them, it is up to you to apply the fix so that your situation will not continue to deteriorate.
If you are already in debt and need professional debt relief assistance, you can seek out a reputable organization which will offer a free phone consultation to review your finances. And will and develop a plan to meet your specific needs without charging you an upfront fee.
You can start by checking with TopConsumerReviews.com, a consumer review website that publishes an annual review of the top debt relief programs in the United States.