Even those who plan ahead get tied up in debt, and then they wonder exactly how so their credit could have piled up. Only a person with millions of dollars, the locked-in-debt ponder, can pay up all those mountains of bills. You may have found yourself, once or twice or a few times in your life, at a point where you wonder just how you managed to bury yourself so deep in debt.
Debt has a way of piling up, accumulating, until it becomes out of control. Many people today are buried deep in debt and are unable to get out of it no matter what they do. If you have already experienced being in debt and then getting out of it, then you know firsthand how liberating it is to be free of debt. But then again, many of us are quick and easy to get back into that cycle of debt. It doesn’t have to be this way. There are warning signs to look out for. They can tell you that you’re getting yourself into debt, and if you don’t act quickly enough, you’re likely to find yourself in financial trouble.
Warning Sign #1: You’re making big buys. The thing with big purchases is that they leave a hole in your funds. The bigger the hole becomes, the less you’ll have for other things you need. So check your monthly credit card bills. Mark off on a notebook when you buy cash for big stuff. Small things can pile up, and more so the big ones. Be watchful.
Warning Sign #2: You’re becoming dependent on your credit cards. Using your credit cards too much is like adding more weight on a bridge your crossing. The best strategy, as with bridges, is to mark a limit. Nothing this big should pass. Something like that. If something big crosses the bridge, it won’t collapse immediately, but you’ll feel the strain for other needs.
Warning Sign #3: You get short on the basics. Gas, electricity, groceries… how come you don’t have enough money to cover for them each month? You must have spent more than what you should. A money management plan is always about limits and projections, forecasts on when you’ll sink. Ignore the limits and make those big buys and you’ll feel short for the things you actually need. That can be depressing.
Warning Sign #4: The shopping channel rules you. Compulsive shopping can be emotionally rewarding, as the sheer joy of buying the desired product is akin to an adrenaline rush. But money management is nothing like an adventure. It’s housekeeping. Don’t expect an adventure. Turn off the TV or switch to another channel when you see sales and ads you like. When you’re solvent, you can buy good stuff with no worries. When you’re not you can still buy good stuff, but with consequences.
When you have all or even a combination of these warning signs, that should be enough to tell you your money management skills are in question, and that you are soon going to be up to your neck in debt if you don’t act now. The moment you spot the signs and put off acting on them, you allow the tide of debt to mark a date on you.