Financial problems have a way of sneaking up on you. At first you may start borrowing money to make a purchase or using your credit cards a little too often. Before you know it, you’re facing a mountain of debt. You may be content with denying you have a problem with managing money.
However, burying your head in the sand will catch up to you if you don’t take the proper steps get things under control. Here are five clear signs you’re headed for financial disaster. No. 4 should be obvious, but it still needs to be said.
1. You often borrow money from friends and relatives
Many of us run into a financial snag from time to time, but if you find yourself constantly asking your friends and family for a loan, and you have trouble paying them back — or at all — this is a warning sign. In addition, borrowing money from loved ones and repaying late or not returning the money can lead to even more strain in your personal life.
2. Bill collectors are calling you — and it’s not to say hi
Ignoring your bills won’t make them go away. You may feel a temporary sense of comfort and relief when you toss your bills into a pile on your desk, but that won’t resolve the issue. Your money problems will just continue to worsen. Soon enough, your creditors may come looking for you.
3. You rely heavily on credit
If you often reach for your credit card, even for small purchases, this is an indication that you are spending more than you earn. Relying too heavily on credit and maintaining a balance from month to month can cause your debt to balloon, leading to even more financial strain. When you get to a point where you can’t afford basics like groceries or gas, it’s time to reevaluate your budget.
4. You’re living paycheck to paycheck
If you find that you frequently overdraft and you’re just barely making it from one paycheck to the next, you are living on the financial edge. Burning through your cash faster than you earn it is asking for trouble. All it takes is one major financial emergency to put you in a crisis. The key is not to wait until a crisis hits before taking action. Once you start to see that you’re experiencing financial difficulty, begin looking for ways to either spend less or bring in more money.
5. You tell financial lies
Are you making purchases and lying to your partner about it? Are you gambling your paycheck away or excessively shopping? If you have lost control of your spending and you’re going to great lengths to conceal your behavior, this could put you at risk for serious financial trouble down the road. Furthermore, taking a reckless approach to money could point to some areas that need to be addressed concerning your mental health. Meeting with a therapist may help you figure out if you have a deeper problem that requires exploration.