Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Everyday Money

7 Warning Signs You're in Financial Trouble

You Have No Idea How Much Money Is in the Bank
The signs: You use your debit card freely and thoughtlessly, assuming you have money in the bank — but you’re not always right. You rack up overdraft fees on a regular basis. 
The problem: Living in La La Land will land you in Never Never Land — as in never going to achieve your financial goals. Besides, you are potentially wasting hundreds of dollars a year on unnecessary fees.
The solution: Wake up! You need to get in the habit of checking your bank account balance on a regular basis (once a week at least) and studying your monthly bank statements to get a grip on where your money goes and how you can better control it. Try only paying in cash for a month to begin training yourself to spend mindfully. 
You Use Credit for the Basics
The signs: You’re at the checkout line at the grocery store or at the gas station and the amount due makes you nervous. So you choose to swipe your credit card instead of your debit card. 
The problem: You are living paycheck to paycheck and racking up debt.
The solution: Something’s gotta give. Your spending is a good place to start. Review your budget and look for areas where you can cut back (maybe eating out, groceries, personal care, etc). 

You Avoid Opening Bills and Credit Card Statements

The signs: The pile of unopened white envelopes on your desk is growing. (Or if you’ve gone paperless, you have a growing list of bolded, unread emails.) 
The problem: You are drowning in debt. 
The solution: You need to answer the phone or call whoever you owe money to and explain your situation. You might not believe it, but most companies are willing to work with you to figure out a payment plan that offers you some relief while ensuring that they continue to get paid.
You’re So Used to Carrying Debt You Don’t Think Twice About Adding More
The signs: “Ah, what’s another $100? I’m already in debt anyway.” Sound familiar? Justifying an obvious bad habit is a big red flag.
The problem: You are resisting necessary change. 
The solution: Cut or lock up your credit cards (or delete your saved credit card information from your most frequented online retailers) so you can avoid temptation as much as possible. 
You Find Yourself Saying, "Just This One Time."
The signs: You know you are doing something you shouldn’t, but you justify it by convincing yourself it will be a one-time thing. 
The problem: Committing a financial crime once almost always leads to being a repeat offender. 
The solution: Don’t do it! If it feels wrong, it is wrong and you don’t want to risk becoming numb to poor financial decisions. 

You’re Paying Off One Debt With Another

The signs: You transferred a credit card balance to another card, plan to or are always tempted by balance transfer offers. Or you’re paying your mortgage, car or student loan bill with a credit card. 
The problem: 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. Plus, they can cost you hundreds of dollars in fees (or more if you do it repeatedly). 
The solution: Put your fixed loan payments on autopay to pay them off in a timely manner that will save you the most money in interest.

You Ask Family or Friends for Money

The signs: If you can’t afford an expense and have to ask someone for a loan, you’re probably already in financial trouble (or trying to buy something you shouldn’t).
The problem: Using others as a money crutch hinders you from ever achieving financial security and freedom. If you don’t let yourself fail or say “no” to yourself, how will you learn from your mistakes and ultimately make better money decisions?
The solution: Rather than mooching from a family member and/or friend, enroll them in your mission to achieve financial independence.

Source: Dailyworth