Debt Issues: Ultimate Signs That You’re Heading a Big Financial Trouble
Many of us are good at ignoring the negative trends in our lives. Maybe we refuse to acknowledge a growing waistline or a relationship that’s slowing deteriorating. Many people also ignore the signs of impending financial disaster. Most personal financial meltdowns happen over time. They’re rarely the result of a one-time event.
The warning signs are quite clear. You simply need to look and be honest with yourself. One thing remains: Getting out of debt isn’t easy. It takes a lot of discipline and patience to stay focused on being able to eventually scream, “I’m debt-free!”
Along the way, you might hit a few bumps in the road. Maybe your motivation and willingness to continue paying off your debt snowball will get tested.
Here’s What You Should DO
These warning signs in your finances are good enough to have some reality check and perhaps change your lifestyle.
You skipped last month’s budget
You’re busy and life happens. I get that. But if getting out of debt is important to you, then your monthly budget should be a top priority. If you’ve let one or two budgets slip, or if you haven’t been having a monthly sit-down to talk money with your spouse, that’s not a good sign. Your budget is your plan. So if you don’t have a budget, you don’t have a plan!
You’re considering more debt
You’re supposed to be getting out of debt, right? So if you’re kinda, sorta tempted to take the cashier up on that credit card offer, you probably need to take a deep breath and back . . . away . . . from . . . the . . . cashier . . . slowly. Don’t lose the momentum and progress you’ve worked so hard to gain. Debt is a thief that will steal your joy. Don’t take on more!
You don’t know how much you owe
It seems like as soon as people start to see a problem with their credit situation, they stick their heads in the sand. You need to be aware of what your balances are. If you don’t know, either because you’re avoiding it or because you’re not very organized about it, you need to find out. If you’re pretty sure you don’t want to know the answer, that’s a big red flag.
Restaurant servers know your name
It’s just so easy to eat out. Believe me, I know. But one sure sign your debt snowball is getting off track is when restaurant servers start to know your name. You’re probably eating out too much. And while it’s nice to go where everybody knows your name, you can’t sacrifice your money goals for the ease and convenience of eating out. Treat yourself on rare occasions.
You’re paying off one debt with another
You transfer one credit card balance to another card in an attempt to pay off the balance with a no interest rate card. Or you refinance your mortgage to cover credit card balances or student loans. This is perhaps because you live way beyond your means. And balance transfers, while beneficial in some cases, are often the result of credit card abuse combined with a lack of discipline to pay off the debt.
Fix this with this trick: Put your fixed loan payments on auto pay and organize your debts with a clear action plan to pay them off as fast as possible. Use either the snowball or avalanche method. Call your creditors to negotiate lower rates and create a customized payment plan if necessary.
You ask money from families and friends
Borrowing money from family and friends is another sign of impending financial challenges. Not only is it a sign of financial struggle, it can also be a real strain on your relationships. Most of us loathe asking the people in our lives for money, so recognize the seriousness of the situation if you’re considering it.
This can be a solution: Rather than asking family and friends for a loan, ask them to help you on your mission to achieve financial freedom. Ask for their guidance and plan to check in with them on a regular basis. Having an active partner in your financial freedom program will help you stay on track and accountable.
The great thing about becoming debt-free is that you can make it happen. Once you make that decision, it’s just a matter of going and doing it.
If you spot any of these flags throughout your journey, simply knock them back down and keep on moving. Debt-free is the best way to live, and you’ll be there before you know it!
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