A lot of our readers want to know how I got so deep in debt. Didn’t I see the warning signs? Couldn’t I see there was a problem before we had a net worth of nearly negative $100,000? Unfortunately, it’s easy to be blind to what you don’t want to see. To help others who might be heading down that same road, I’ve come up with a list of “warning signs” that I should have paid attention to long before the debt got so out of control.
1. You treat yourself to something nice on payday because you know you won’t be able to afford it later in the week.
2. You don’t know the total amount of debt you owe.
3. You don’t know the exact interest rate on every balance you’re carrying.
4. You need credit cards to get by.
5. You know that credit cards should only be used for emergencies…but lately there’s been an emergency almost every day.
6. You feel anxious or worried about paying your bills.
7. The financial image you project to friends and family is different than your real financial status.
8. You hide purchases from others.
9. You don’t know your net worth.
10. You’re upset by the amount of interest that accrues each month.
11. You’re ashamed to ask for help from family or friends.
12. You would rather not look at the bills.
13. You need to juggle payment dates and paydays to be able to pay the bills.
14. You are losing sleep over financial worries.
15. You can’t imagine life without debt.
16. You spend a lot of time opening mail and paying bills because you have a lot of accounts.
17. You can’t afford to save for retirement or plan for big purchases.
18. You sometimes consider cash advances or loans to be income.
If these sound familiar to you, check out our “Debt Diet” plan. It worked for us, and it can work for you too. It is very difficult at the beginning but it gets easier, we promise!