While we may not want to admit it, most Americans actually do live paycheck to paycheck, so without improving your personal finances, you could be showing many signs of living beyond your means and sinking deeper and deeper into debt.
Not Sticking to a Budget
If you are one of the two-thirds of Americans that do not have a budget, then it could be a free for all in spending each month, not leaving much leftover for savings, barely breaking even at best. Take a look at all of your spending by looking at each account statement used and circle the items that could or should have been avoided, as you may be shocked when you add up the total. Eliminating unnecessary expenses is key to your financial success.
Your Credit Card Statement is Scary
The con of using a credit card is that you can spend all you want during the month and as long as you are under the limit, you will not be stopped. That is, until you see the monthly statement come in and you wonder how you can pay it. Leave any remaining balance and it will carry over to the next month, collecting interest, and that is when it gets scary, making minimum payments, not putting a dent into principle.
No Emergency Fund
If you do not have an account set up to pay for unexpected charges such as medical bills or auto maintenance, then the bill will go on a credit card and further add to your balance. Try and muster up 3 to 6 months of monthly expenses saved into an account as a priority.
Those that have had bonuses or overtime taken away but are still living the same lifestyle as before are noticing the reduced income coming in does not make up for the spending that is going out. Sacrifices will have to be made to be successful in staying out of debt, so maybe avoiding some expenses like eating out and other entertainment costs will have to be reduced.
Declining Credit Score
Have you checked your credit score recently? If you see it slipping below 700, or worse, then you know you might be slipping into a debt spiral that will be very hard to climb out of. If this is the case, then look into the services of credit repair agencies as they are experienced in correcting these types of situations.