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Live and Learn

Personal finance topics with a real world touch... 
and puns, because they make everything more amusing.

Just debt over it!

I'd like to say "stay out of debt" and just let that be the end of it. But that may not be your reality and I hear you saying, "Yeah, right!" Debt is a fact of life for some of us, so let's talk about how you know when your debt is too much.

1. You don't know how much you owe.

Hiding from your debt doesn’t make it go away. In fact, if you’re purposely ignoring your debt, it could be that you know you have more debt than you can handle and you’re simply afraid to face up to it. Stop running. Make a list of your debts so you know once and for all how much you truly owe.

2. You pay your bills late because you don't have any money.

If your debt payments are more than you can afford, you definitely have too much debt. Unfortunately, paying late only makes your debt problems worse because you now have to deal with late payments and higher interest charges. Look closely at your monthly spending to figure out what you can eliminate to better afford your bills.

3. You don't answer the phone because it might be bill collectors.

I know, many of us panic when the phone rings simply because we just don't like talking on the phone. When I'm with my husband and my phone rings, I look at him like, "You're here... who else would possibly call me?" Thankfully it's usually just spam. But when debt collectors start calling you, your debts have become delinquent and probably unaffordable. You may be able avoid the phone calls for awhile, but don’t underestimate your creditors and debt collectors – they may decide to sue you for what you owe.

4. You've borrowed money to pay your bills.

If you have to pay your bills with loans from family, friends, credit cards, or cash advance places, you have too much debt. You'll eventually run out of places to borrow money.

5. Your finances affect your work performance.

When your financial woes spill into the workplace, it’s time to do things differently. Losing your job is the last thing you need right now because a loss in income could put you over the financial edge.

6. You've drained your savings.

The absence of savings itself doesn’t always mean you have more debt than you can handle. But if you drained your savings trying to pay off your debt or to make ends meet, that’s when you know there’s a problem.

7. You can't afford living expenses without a credit card or loan.

When you have no choice but to buy groceries or other necessities with a credit card, it’s a sign of a deeper issue – you don’t have enough money to sustain your lifestyle. You have to figure out how to survive on the income you make.

8. You hide your spending from loved ones.

Ask yourself why you feel the need to hide your spending and the answer will probably because you know they will not approve. If you can’t be honest with your loved ones about your debt, chances are you have too much of it.

I won't push you to make a move today. I know that it can be tough to come to grips with the reality of debt. Just think about it for a bit. Decide if now is the right time to face your finances. If you'd like to chat about how I can help you start to see a light at the end of the debt tunnel, let's chat.

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