The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Signs You Have A Spending Problem And Ways To Stop

By Cameron Huddleston, GOBankingRates.com (TNS)

One in five Americans spent more than what they earned in the last 12 months, according to a Federal Reserve Board survey released in May.

Regardless of the reason spending might exceed income, “overspending is harmful because it could be a sign you’re out of control with your finances,” said Leslie H. Tayne, an attorney who concentrates in debt resolution solutions and authored Life & Debt.

Here are a few warning signs that indicate you are spending too much, followed by suggestions for getting your spending under control:

You Max Out Your Credit Cards And Pay Only The Minimum

If you’re maxing out your credit cards and can’t pay off your balances every month, it’s a sign that you’re relying on credit to supplement your income, Tayne said. “This is a hard cycle to break, especially if you can only afford to make the minimum payments each month,” she said. Not only can this hurt your credit score, but it can also leave you in debt longer than necessary.

You Pay Bills Late

About one out of 20 people with a credit file are at least 30 days late on a credit card or a non-mortgage account payment, according to an Urban Institute report.

Paying bills late because you don’t have the cash to cover them is a sign that you’re overspending, Tayne said. And it sends a red flag to your credit issuers, which could hike your interest rates or lower your credit limit, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. You’ll also be hit with fees, which can add up quickly, and several late payments will hurt your credit score.

You Raid Your Retirement Account

You might think there’s no harm in borrowing from your retirement account because it’s your money. About 20 percent of 401(k) plan participants have taken a loan from their account, according to the Pencil Research Council Working Paper. You can borrow up to half of your 401(k) balance, up to a maximum of $50,000, but Tayne said rarely is this a good idea. “Borrowing from your future is a risky move,” she said.

If you borrow from your retirement account, you will have to pay yourself back with interest, which can be lower than the rate of return you would’ve gotten if you had left the money in the account. So really, you’re just shortchanging your retirement savings.

If you’ve realized that you have an overspending problem, rest assured. There are different ways you can get your spending under control and create healthy spending habits.

Create A Budget

The first step to getting your spending under control is creating a budget, Tayne said. Take a close look at what you’re spending money on and look for ways to cut back.

Rely On Cash

By living on a cash- or debit-only budget, you can curb the impulse to overspend. Tayne suggested setting a budget for each shopping trip and only bringing that much cash with you to avoid making impulse purchases.

Get Help

If you’re buried in debt and can’t curb your spending, your best option might be to get professional help. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling member agencies provide free and affordable debt counseling and other money management services. You can find an agency in your area through NFCC.org.

Photo: frankieleon via Flickr

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mark Esper

Youtube Screenshot

The precise nature of the Chinese balloon that drifted through the high atmosphere above the United States before being shot down by the American military off the coast of South Carolina is still not known, though the military seems confident it was a "surveillance" balloon and seemingly every conservative pundit put in front of a microphone believes it was carrying either some sort of zombie-producing spores or, worse, thousands of green M&M's to be scattered through the American landscape, turning our wildlife "woke."

What we do now know, however, is that these balloon flights seem to be a regular occurrence—and one that nobody has attempted to stoke a public panic over until now. The Department of Defense's own news site reports that Chinese balloons appeared over the United States at least three times during the Trump administration. None of those other balloons appear to have been intercepted. There were no Republican politicians posing with guns promising that they'd personally take care of them balloons if they floated over their neck of the woods. None of them appear to have scattered zombie spores, M&M's, or anything else.

Keep reading...Show less

George Santos

Youtube Screenshot

Rep. George Santos (R-NY) has faced a litany of accusations in his short time as a lawmaker. From financial mishandling, professional embellishments, and personal occurrences, Santos has been accused of lies across the board.

Now, a new analysis is breaking down the dynamics of compulsive lying. According to Business Insider, psychological experts have explained how compulsive lying is often a characteristic of a personality disorder.

Keep reading...Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}