If your bills are increasing and your income isn't, you're in trouble or heading for it. Check the following list. If two or more of these apply to you, it's time to take a serious look at your finances.
- My required monthly minimum payments are 20% or more of my take-home pay, not including rent or mortgage payments.
- I use cash advances from one credit card to pay off another.
- I pay only the minimum payment due or less each month.
- I don't know how much my total debt is.
- I'm getting calls or letters from creditors about overdue payments.
- I often pay bills late.
- I've recently been denied credit.
- My income isn't enough to pay all my current bills.
- I have more than three credit cards and I'm using all of them.
- A purchase was turned down because my credit card was over the limit.
- I have to use credit cards to pay for things I used to pay for with cash.
- I have at least three credit cards and I am still applying for more.
If you feel that your finances are getting away from you, visit Keeping A Budget and follow the budgeting and planning steps provided to help you regain financial control. You may need a few months to fine-tune your spending categories. Keep adjusting until you have the plan that works best for you.
Getting spending under control is not easy, so include your family in all plans. They can be a positive support system. Besides, the changes you make will affect them too.