Money Mess: Personal Finance Advice


It’s not too tough to realize when your personal finances have spiraled out of control, especially if bill collectors are calling you all hours of the day and your electricity is shut off because you haven’t paid your bill in a couple of months. What about the period of time leading up to this financial disaster? What signs point toward an impending money crisis that may be able to tip you off that something needs to change before it’s too late?

You probably already know if you don’t handle money well. Some people are able to get by just fine with a little help from overdraft protection and small loans from family, but oftentimes money mismanagement will turn into something pretty dramatic if you don’t take the steps to wise up and change your ways.

How do you know if you’re heading toward financial trouble? If you answer “yes” to two or more of these statements then it’s time to make some big changes to your personal financial situation, whether it’s getting a budget in place, or cutting up your credit cards, or doing a complete overhaul of your personal financial situation.

Do any of these apply to you?

1. I don’t have a savings account in place at all.

2. Most of my credit cards are maxed out.

3. I’m behind on some of my bills.

4. Every day I get a phone call from a creditor.

5. Sometimes I have trouble sleeping because of my money problems.

6. I usually run out of money before my next payday.

7. Whenever I apply for new credit it gets denied.

8. I have to use credit cards to pay for basic necessities a lot.

9. I spend a lot more than I can truly afford to when I go shopping.

10. I’m pretty sure I’ll wind up in bankruptcy if somebody doesn’t bail me out soon.

Only answering “yes” to one statement shouldn’t be cause for celebration. You should strive to not only answer “no” to every single one of these statements, but to get to the point to where you scratch your head in confusion that anyone would ever answer positively to any of them at all.

So what do you do if you answer “yes” to some of these? First pat yourself on the back for recognizing that you need to make some changes, and then get to work with bringing your bills up to date while cutting back on your expenses. Yes, it will take some effort to get back on track, but it will certainly be worth it.

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