10 Warning Signs Tell if Your Spending Habits are Out of Control –
Our everyday spending habits on such things as coffee, bottled water, snacks, and magazines constantly put a slow trickle on our family budgets. And in the long run, what might seem like small and affordable purchases may end up significantly impacting our long-term financial health. For instance, consider purchasing a daily cup of coffee over a course of five years that totals up to $6,162.50. Now, also add in your monthly cell phone bill. An average family might pay $120 a month on a smartphone bill. If you were to continue to pay the bill over a five year period, you end up spending $7,200.
So, by having spending habits such as purchasing one cup of coffee a day and spending on a cell phone bill over the course of five years, you’ve basically spent what some people might pay for a used or new car, $13,662.50.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) website asked consumers if they had a spending problem, savings problem, neither, or both. The overwhelming majority, 62%, identified themselves as having problems related to both spending and saving.
Although the examples above by themselves don’t necessarily demonstrate a spending problem, but coupled together with some of the habits below, they can be detrimental to your financial health.
Below are 10 warning signs that your spending may be out of control.
- Purchases hidden from others.
- Bills paid late or ignored.
- Checking accounts routinely overdrawn.
- Credit essential to maintain current lifestyle level.
- Unwilling to review how money is spent.
- Unaware of how much is owed.
- Items routinely purchased, and then returned.
- Shopping used as a salve for emotional stress.
- Unwilling to set financial goals.
- Afraid to check credit report and score.
If your spending and saving habits aren’t coexisting peacefully together then try balancing the two by first using a budget worksheet to provide an organized and easily understood breakdown of how much money you have coming in and how much you are spending. Pay close attention to what your spending habits really cost you.With a budget, you don’t have to panic or wonder if you have the money—you already know.
Photo courtesy of Kate Northrup