Living large by having a lifestyle you can only afford with credit cards feels fun and glamorous in the most. As time goes on, your credit card balances reach their maximum limit. According to a piece by dailyworth.com, there are signs that you are living beyond your means. By receiving debt counseling, you differentiate between wants and needs. You learn how to have some of the things you want with a proper budget. If you decide to consolidate your debt, you may free up more money to save for the future. Talk to a certified credit counselor about the benefits of debt consolidation and whether it would save you interest on your credit cards. You could also get out of debt faster with a monthly debt management plan. Having structure often helps people who have lived in the moment and lived large.
Do you have a fear of missing out?
One question to consider is whether you spend money because you feel afraid you will miss out. Few people like to feel left out. Consider your motives for spending money. If you just want to spend quality time with your mom, pick something free to do such as gardening as opposed to going to the movies.
Is your minimum payment growing?
If the minimum you owe on your credit card is growing instead of shrinking, it’s a clear sign that you are living beyond your means. By consolidating debt, your credit card balance won’t get any larger. You might be surprised to find that you don’t have to give up spending money on the things you love just because you are on a debt repayment plan.
Do you save at least 5 percent?
If you can save 10 percent of any money you earn or receive, you know you are doing really well. If you can’t even save 5 percent, it’s a sign of financial trouble. According to experts, saving should come first before spending. Put money aside by automatically contributing at least 5 percent to a Roth IRA. If you can’t, talk to a credit counselor about ways to lower your bills.
Do you have an emergency fund?
Using your credit card to pay for a flat tire because you don’t have enough money in savings is another bad sign. Even if you use your credit card for convenience, you should have enough in reserves to pay the balance. Experts suggest you keep an emergency fund of 6 to 9 months of living expenses. If you can’t save up even $500, you need to increase income and consolidate debt.
Are you always out of money?
Whether you get paid every week, every other week or once a month, it’s important to have money leftover. If you are broke days before your paycheck, you are likely living beyond your means. Living paycheck-to-paycheck is demoralizing and stressful. You are more likely to get into troubling financial situations such as having to pay overdraft fees.
Even if you answered “yes” with many of the questions, you have no reason to despair. At Christian Credit Counselors, we provide debt counseling and advice for people seeking to consolidate credit card debt. We will help you avoid bankruptcy and unethical debt settlement scams that prey on people burdened with debt.
Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.