Image Courtesy of Lotzman KatzmanIf it has not been made abundantly clear by the rising number of foreclosed homes and increasing number of personal bankruptcy filings, too many people have been living above their means for way too long. Unfortunately, many of these people realized they were in trouble once it was too late.
Usually, unless there are unforeseen circumstances like job loss, death, divorce or sickness, financial meltdown does not happen over night. The warning signs are usually there long before you hit rock bottom. I don't know if people chose to ignore the warning signs or they just had no clue what was going on but unfortunately, it is a nationwide problem.
In case you aren't sure if you are in trouble or not, determine if any or all of the following circumstances apply to you:
Past Due Bills. Are you essential bills (power, water, gas, rent or mortgage, insurance, etc) past due? Are you hiding past due bills from your spouse or partner?
Rising Debt. Are your credit card balances rising out of control? Can you only afford the minimum payments? Have you stopped making payments completely? Are you applying for additional credit? Are you using your credit cards to pay for groceries because your checking account is empty? Are you borrowing money from one creditor to pay another?
Overdrafts. Is your checking account balance in the red? Have you recently had a few too many bounced checks? Do you even know what your checking account balance is?
Credit. Has your credit score gone down the drain due to missed or late payments? Do you even know what your credit score is? (Tip: Find out here.) If you've are experiencing any of the above for any amount of time, the time to act is NOW. Now is the time to pull yourself out of the red and start to build wealth. Don't wait until it is too late and the sheriff is at your door with an eviction notice.
Next up on SingleGuyMoney, tips to start pulling yourself out of the red. Make sure you've subscribed to the RSS feed to know when the next post comes out.