Struggling under a mountain of debt is no fun, but it is a way of life for many who do not keep their personal finances in balance. Some people ignore warning signs that they really need to regain control of their finances until it is too late. Here are some quick ways to tell if you are in danger of being buried by debt, along with some tips on how to take charge of your money problems.
Have you ever taken a cash advance on one credit card in order to make the minimum monthly payment on another card? This means that your debt load is way too high, and you need to find a way to bring it down fast and restore order to your personal finances. Do whatever is required, whether it is taking a part time job or just limiting spending to bare essentials until your financial picture improves. Commit to paying off the cards with the highest interest rates first, if possible, and the ones with the lowest balances if it is not. Set a specific time limit, such as six months, to reach your goal, and follow through on your commitment to control your finances. And do not add any new charges unless it is literally a matter of life and death.
Have you ever taken a cash advance on a credit card to make a bank deposit so that a check won’t bounce? This is similar to using one card to pay another, only worse. This means your finances are so out of control that it is critical you find a solution. Perhaps you have not been reconciling your checking account regularly. If not, start immediately. If returned checks are a problem, start using cash to pay for living expenses until you can regain control over your personal finances. Make all of your regular payments, and then take whatever is left in cash. Divide it up according to how long it has to last and place it in envelopes which are labeled with the purpose, such as lunches or groceries. Pay for purchases out of the appropriate envelope. Some people like this method so well that they continue to use it long after they have resolved any issues with their personal finances.
Do you have to check the available balance on your credit card before you can go to the grocery store? Using credit cards for living expenses is fine for your personal finances if you want the convenience and can pay off the balance each month. However, many people who are struggling with their personal finances frequently charge things like groceries and gasoline, and then make only the minimum payments. This is one of the worst mistakes you can make when it comes to your personal finances. You are increasing your debt load for items that are long gone before you even receive your statement, much less pay the bill.
Is it a struggle to just pay the minimum amounts due on your credit cards each month? This is creating a personal finance scenario where you will probably never be out of debt. Stop using your cards until you have reduced your balances and regained control over your personal finances, or find a way to earn extra income and dedicate those earnings to paying off your debt more quickly.
Some of you may have found the personal finance scenarios described humorous. Sadly, these are actually circumstances that happen more often than many want to admit. As a nation, we have never been more deeply in debt nor maintained so little control of our personal finances. But the good news is that you can remedy your situation with your personal finances and debt. It won’t happen overnight, but if you are willing to work at it, you can regain control over your personal finances and eliminate your burden of debt.