If you are living beyond your means, it is essential to step back and examine the signs that may be pointing you in this direction. These five signs can indicate whether you have crossed the line from being financially stable into a situation of debt and overspending.
If any of these five warning signs resonate with you, then it’s time for a change:
You Are Using Credit Cards To Pay for Vacation
You put a lot of effort into saving for vacations and trips, so it’s discouraging when expenses creep up on you. It might be that your income plateaued or something unexpected came up like an emergency car repair. If you use credit cards to pay for vacation because the money isn’t there, why not consider setting aside some cash in advance?
If you use credit cards to pay for a vacation, it is a good indication that your spending habits are out of control. You may be living beyond your means if you have stopped making retirement contributions to live “fabulously” now and pay the bills later. If you cannot make ends meet or save money every month, then maybe it is time to take stock of where all this money has been going.
You Have Stopped Your Retirement Contributions
It is never too early to start saving for retirement. It would help if you put away at least 15% of your earnings every year, and that number rises with age. A good rule of thumb is if you make more than $100K per year and don’t contribute the equivalent of what an employee would receive in employer-sponsored benefits (about $50), it’s time to reconsider how much money you’re spending on life outside work versus inside work!
You Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck
It is not the American Dream to live paycheck-to-paycheck. However, one of the hallmarks of living within your means, and being financially secure, is having enough money in savings so that you can skip a few paychecks without going into debt or panic mode.
The average person has $300 saved up for an emergency fund, according to Bankrate. Still, if you are only making minimum payments on credit cards while trying to save some cash another way, it may be time to rethink your budgeting strategy and your money-saving tips.
Your Savings Account Is Not Growing
The rate you can see your savings account building funds is a measuring stick for how well you can save. If it’s not growing, then you might be using some of the money in your accounts instead of allowing them to grow and compound over time.
You Are Only Making Minimum Payments on Credit Cards
If you have been paying the minimum payment on your credit card, it will take years to pay off this debt, and the longer it takes, the more interest charges and high-cost fees accumulate. Eventually, if you do not address early enough, this can lead to bankruptcy or other financial problems that will affect your life and just how much of an outlay you need every month for bills.
It is often difficult to decide when you live beyond your means because it can be hard to see the warning signs. However, the five items listed above may help you determine if you are in over your head with debt payments. If so, please get in touch with a professional financial advisor to help you get out of this position soonest possible and start building wealth again!
*Illustrations by Monstera