4 Signs You’re in Deeper Than You Thought Financially

It is so easy to spend money. Sometimes we do it on purpose when we want something, sometimes we do it because a bill has to be paid, and other times we spend because an unexpected expense comes up. It doesn’t help that we can easily get in the habit of spending money on things that aren’t in our budget or things we don’t need to be spending it on; people can easily waste¬†$1,000 or more each year without even realizing it.

In many ways handling money and facing serious financial surprises can be one of the scarier things we face; a 2014 poll from Chapman University found that becoming a victim of identity was one of the five things that Americans fear the most. Although identity theft is a valid threat, we need to be careful not to harm our financial futures ourselves as well. Here are four signs you may be in too deep.

1.You can’t afford your bills

junk mail with a final notice bill

Overdue bills | iStock.com

This should be your first hint that you are in too deep financially. Most people will go through a period when money is tight, but if you routinely have to borrow money or use credit cards to pay bills (and you don’t have money to pay the credit cards off or pay back the person who loaned you the money) then you are in too deep financially. It’s time to cut down your expenses. Consider ending your cable service, getting rid of convenience items, saving money on your grocery bills, and saving money in any other way you can.

Another sign that you are in too deep is simply living paycheck-to-paycheck with no savings and no end in sight; barely affording your bills and daily necessities is a sign that you need to make some changes. It is hard to save money, but when an emergency arises, a savings account (and hopefully an emergency account) can make all the difference.

2. You don’t qualify for a loan

piggy bank beside a small house

Piggy bank | iStock.com

Many companies are super eager to sign up customers for loans, but if you keep getting rejected, that might be a good indicator that your finances are not where they should be. If you can’t get a mortgage, there may be several reasons. According to Credit.com, your credit score might not be what you think it is, you might have a long employment gap, your income may not be straightforward, you may not have enough cash for escrow, or you may be living beyond your means.

Simply having a difficult time qualifying for a loan doesn’t mean you are in too deep; mortgage loans, in particular, may require more than other loans. However, this is a good chance to take a look at your finances and really consider why you can’t get a loan, and whether this indicates a bigger problem.

3. Your friends and family are concerned

budget, family members

Are your family members concerned about your budget? | iStock.com

You may have a different threshold than your parents or friends do when it comes to what you can afford and when you need to stop spending money. However, if your friends or family have talked to you about your spending, or they are worried about your debt, then this might be a sign that you are getting in too deep financially. Whether your loved ones worry that you are buying too many things, making too little to afford your lifestyle, or letting bills go unpaid, there’s a good chance that if other people are noticing there’s a problem, there might really be one. The good news is if you have people in your life who care enough to confront you, then they might be able to help you get yourself back on track.

4. You feel like you are losing ground

exercise treadmill

Are you actually making progress with your money? | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

If you know that you are making poor financial decisions, or you realize that you can’t afford the things you need (or want), then you clearly are in too deep. However, you may feel like you are in too deep in other ways: If you are constantly worried about your job because you know it is the one financial safety net you have, and you realize that without it, you would have no money at all (or not enough), then this type of fear can be a sign as well.

Fearing the loss of an important relationship can be another sign; worrying that a loved one will desert you if you can no longer maintain your lifestyle might be one legitimate fear. Even thinking constantly about what you would do if you had more money could be a sign because it suggests that you either know you don’t have enough, or you always will want more than you have. Lastly, if your health has been deteriorating or affected because you are always worrying about money, that is another sign; stress caused by finances can have negative effects on your health.

There are many other signs that you are in too deep financially. If you have credit lenders calling you regularly, if you have credit cards that are maxed out, if you can’t afford your utilities or groceries, or if your retirement savings is too little or nonexistent, you may need to get your finances in order.

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