Financial problems often have a way of sneaking up on you. You can open a credit line here or buy a few things with your credit card over there, and before you know it trouble is on your doorstep. If you begin to ignore your finances, you could be facing payments that are beyond what you’re able to pay. Fortunately for you, there are usually some telltale signs that financial trouble is on the horizon.
If you notice that your credit card payments are getting increasingly higher, or you’re only able to make the minimum payment or less every month, trouble is probably on the way. The same is true if your chequing account is constantly overdrawn and you can’t seem to get it back above the line. These kinds of things mean you’re one or two financial blips away from a full-blown disaster.
Another thing that signifies impending financial doom is if your “emergency fund” is dwindling or no longer exists. If this is the case, you won’t even have anything to fall back on if that blip occurs. If you have to draw straws to figure out which bills to pay each month because there isn’t enough to go around, you’re stretched beyond your means and asking for trouble. Obviously, if any of these things happen once in a while, you’ll probably be okay, but if any of them are happening with regularity it’s time to reassess your financial situation and make changes.
Sometimes, there really is no guesswork involved to recognize that you’re in financial trouble. If you’re missing rent or mortgage payments, taking out credit to pay off other credit or if creditors have started harassing you for payments, you’re in trouble.
Unfortunately, for most people one of the byproducts of excessive debt is excessive stress. Debt stress can affect your sleep patterns, your relationships and your physical health. Once the stress of money troubles grabs hold, it’s definitely time to take action.
What to Do
Depending on how severe your financial troubles are, you have a few options when it starts to get bad. To start, you can create a sensible monthly budget and stick to it. You can also use your credit card less, increase monthly payments, start stashing away money for a rainy day and cutting out expenses that aren’t really necessary.
Naturally, making an effective plan and implementing all of the changes with discipline is easier said than done for most. That’s why turning to experts like credit counsellors is a logical way to find a solution to the problem. Credit counselling is confidential and it is a service that looks for the best solution for your specific issues rather than pushing a particular product or debt solution.
With credit counselling, you’ll be presented with a solution to pay off your debt, and advice on how to avoid getting into the same trouble again in the future.