My finances weren’t always in great shape – too much debt, weak savings, with some self-indulgent spending for good measure. To stay on top of my finances, I have had to take the occasional “honest look”. I think of it as a 3-way mirror view of my situation. By that, I mean that enlightening view you get in the department store changing room where you find out how people see you from the back on a bright, sunny day.
First, I encourage you to step in front of that mirror and take an honest look at your spending and debt. You may want to stick your head in the sand. Please don’t. I can assure you that no matter where you are with your money, with action you can firm up your finances.
You need to ask yourself these questions:
- Are you using credit cards for your basic expenses?
- Are you making multiple transfers from savings to cover your checking account?
- Are your wages running out before the end of the month?
- Are you avoiding your bills by not opening your mail or emails?
- Are you only making partial payments on utilities and credit cards?
- Are your credit card balances going up versus down?
Answer these questions honestly – either alone or with the person you share your finances. Again, Be Honest. You may be thinking, “It’s the economy” or “I wouldn’t be in this situation if not for…” You have to face the reality that is, not what should have been. You cannot change the past. All you can do is to pull your head out of the sand and address the issue now by taking action.
The first thing to do is to track your spending. Keep a list of all that is coming in (income) and going out (expenses). That is the only way you can determine how much of a shortfall you have.
Once you know, you can begin to make changes. You will see where your money is going and can cutback and eliminate unnecessary spending. If you need help, I offer coaching packages that can get you through this.
You want to take action on the overspending now, Trust me, in my 20s I had maxed out many credit cards and had to pay off all that debt. At times, I worked three jobs and it seemed like it would never be paid off, but I did and you can too. The sooner you start the better off you will be.
Start today before it’s too late, and it snowballs into something so big that you cannot manage it, and the only answer is bankruptcy.