It’s common to worry about money. More than 60 percent of people polled for the Marketplace-Edison Economic Anxiety Index reported being anxious about finances either sometimes or frequently. How much should you worry? Here are five signs you’re on your way to going broke:
You put your wants before your needs
Needs are costs for everyday living, such as your mortgage, utilities and medical care. Wants are things you would like to have, like that cup of coffee from Starbucks, another pair of shoes or a vacation. If it’s a want, realize you can’t afford it.
You’re using credit cards for everyday expenses
You’re at risk of going broke if you’re propping up your lifestyle with credit cards. As of early 2016, the average interest rate on credit cards ranged from 12 percent to 16 percent.You shouldn’t have to borrow money and pay it back with interest to cover your electric bill, phone bill or rent.
You don’t have savings
Within a one-year span, 60 percent of households experienced a financial shock, such as needing a major auto repair or dealing with less income than expected due to job loss, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Without savings, when emergencies arise, you’ll be at risk of a financial crisis. To avoid going broke, make a savings plan.
You take payday loans
Each year, 12 million Americans use payday loans, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Needing a payday loan, regardless of the reason, is a serious indicator of financial peril. If you can’t cover your finances until payday, you have to stop spending and start building a cushion.
You’re paying for credit with credit
Borrowing to spend is a common route to financial crisis. People often run up credit card debt they can’t pay off, then start looking for more credit. When you have a mountain of credit card debt, you need to start living below your means. Take the extra money and pay off your credit cards one at a time.