Financial Danger Signals
Just as some diseases have early warning signals, which if caught in time can improve the chances of successful
treatment, there are also warning signs of impending financial distress. By keeping some of these in mind and using
them as a reference, it is possible to identify the early warning signs of financial problems before they become
acute. If you recognize any of these as applying to you, seek help before it is too late.
- When stressed, angry or depressed, you go shopping.
- Purchases are frequently hidden from family members.
- Shopping leaves you feeling guilty and ashamed.
- Spending habits create conflict with family members.
- Thoughts about money crowd out other thoughts.
- Debts are not disclosed to family members.
- An increasing percentage of your income is going to pay off debts.
- You are unsure of how much you owe in total.
- Your credit cards are at their limits.
- Savings have been used up to meet debt obligations.
- Credit is used for everyday purchases such as groceries, gas or cigarettes.
- Only the minimum payments are made on your credit cards.
- A cash advance from one credit card is used to pay off another.
- Frequent applications are made for more credit.
- Cheques are post-dated so they won't bounce.
- Overtime, tips or bonuses are relied on as part of your regular monthly income.
- More than 15% of your take-home pay is going to non-mortgage debts.
- Instalment payments last longer than the product.
- You have consolidated debts and now have balances on the credit cards again.