The Worrying Signs That You Are Having Financial Problems


With most things in life, realising that you have a problem is the first step towards finding a solution.

Financial problems don’t differ from anything else in this respect. However, it can be all too easy to fool yourself into thinking that everything is going ok. Of course, if you convince yourself that your finances are in fine fettle when they really aren’t then there is sure to be some trouble ahead. So how can you identify the fact that you under financial pressure?

The Days Before Payday Are Torture

I can remember a few times in the past when the days before payday were incredibly difficult. These were days for hunting down the back of the sofa for long lost pennies and for trying to work out whether that mouldy piece of bread I found would do me any harm if I ate it for lunch. It is normal enough for this to happen from time and time and it can even be fun to try and work out how cheaply you can live for a couple of days. Having said that, if the same thing happens before payday every single month then something is going wrong. It would seem that you are spending more than you earn every month, so a review of your spending is in order.

You Are Getting Phone Calls or Letters About Money You Owe

My general motto in life is that the fewer phone calls or emails I receive from banks the better. When you get one of these every now and then it is probably to offer you a new product or to try to tempt you into taking out a loan or credit card. However, when they start to call you on a regular basis then it is most likely because you owe them money. Ignoring these calls or messages isn’t going to make the problem go away, I’m afraid.

You Have Lost Track of Your Finances

If you have lost track of your finances then it doesn’t automatically mean that you in trouble but there is a good chance that you are. This is because one of the automatic reactions to being under financial pressure is to try and ignore the fact. If you know that the bank statement on your hall table contains bad news then it is easier to simply not open it. Of course, the problem with this approach is that your finances can slide further and further out of control. At some point you are going to have to face up to the situation and the sooner you do it the better. In fact, facing up to reality after a period of denial can bring a huge sense of relief.

You Are Always Waiting on a Magical Solution

I went through a phase of reading Billy Bunter books as a kid and I can highly recommend them as well written pieces of humorous prose. The reason I mention the rotund anti hero here is that he was always waiting for his legendary postal order to arrive. It might not be a postal order you are always hoping for but are you waiting for a magical solution to make everything alright? If you have decided that the future is out of your hands and that only a lottery win or massive inheritance can sort out your financial woes then something is going badly wrong. Instead of dreaming of a windfall you should be working at getting your financial life in order in a sustainable and orderly way. It can be done, with or without a postal order.

Have you recognised other signs of being in financial trouble?

6 Responses to The Worrying Signs That You Are Having Financial Problems

  1. I see myself in the “losing track of finances”. We’ve always had enough to pay our bills – our “trouble” is not paying down debt. It’s way more fun to have fun and just forget about all the debt, collecting interest. And I long ago stopped balancing our checkbook because, even with enough, it stressed me out to know where all our money went to (ie not the right places). My head’s been in the sand, but trying to get it unstuck!

  2. I think you are talking about me about a year or so ago. I remember those few days before the paycheck comes when I used to avoid everybody so they don’t ask me to go out, or go to dinner because I had no money left.

    I’m glad I decided to change that. And really, the only thing I did was keep track of my finances. That turned my life around very quickly.

  3. “The days before payday are torture” <— I've had that feeling once or twice….when you have too much month left for your money. It's one of the reasons we started to get a better handle on our finances!

  4. I went through a period in my life, now like 25 years in the past, where I encountered all of the problems you have listed. I feared both the phone and the mail. Contact by the IRS scared me even more. Now my life is simpler. I have no money, but I also have no outstanding debt. It is better to live without bill collectors constantly calling (although you do learn how to deal with them after a while).

  5. Kathy says:

    One sign is when you use a credit card or those cash advance checks that come with credit card to pay another credit card bill. Another is when you write a check to pay a bill a couple of days before a deposit hits your account and you are hoping the “float” will carry you through. A word of caution….the float is much reduced these days due to electronic fund transfers between banks, resulting in an overdraft and subsequent fees that go along with it.

  6. When I visited my aunt last year for 2 weeks, I always received a phone call from her friend about the money she owed. I can understand her situation because her husband was in the ICU for 2 months and she has lots of debts.

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