Financial Warning Signs You Can’t Ignore

Guy on edge of bed, worrying
Mar 25 2024

Financial Warning Signs You Can’t Ignore

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could wave a magic wand and make money troubles just disappear?  Regretfully, real life doesn’t work that way. However, we do have the power to take steps to correct it—and the first step is to recognize that there is a problem. For example, if you find yourself dealing with any of the following financial issues, it’s time to get proactive:

  • You have no emergency fund.
  • You often overdraft your account.
  • You must choose which bills you can pay.
  • You pay bills on credit or with cash advances.
  • You can only make minimum credit card payments.
  • You’re getting collection calls.
  • You’re fighting or lying about money with your partner.

Any one of these situations is stressful enough, but if you’re dealing with two or more of these warning signs, you may be heading into an unsustainable situation. For example, if you don’t have an emergency fund, it’ll just take a car repair or medical bill to force you into juggling bills, paying one on this payday but waiting to pay another. Collection calls follow, and so it goes. The longer you postpone facing money issues, the longer you’ll feel stressed about them. You only prolong pain by  avoiding it.

Undoing Neglect

Compounding interest is a good thing when we’re talking about the interest accruing on a savings account or investment. But it’s a bad thing when we’re talking about a problem that starts small, and left unattended, turns into a huge headache. Neglect doesn’t fix money issues—action does. Here are a few remedies:

  • You have no emergency fund—If you’re getting a tax refund, use most of it to set up your savings cushion. Use direct deposit and automatic transfers from checking each paycheck to deposit even a small amount into savings regularly. Use those savings only for real financial emergencies.
  • You often make overdrafts—Check your online account often so you know your balance. If you share an account with a spouse or partner, agree to keep each other in the loop about payments and withdrawals so neither of you is caught off-guard by a low balance.
  • You juggle which bills to pay—Many utility companies offer budget billing. Contact your utilities to see which can be put on a budget payment system. This is where you get charged the same amount every month. This will enable you to know exactly how much you’ll need to budget for every month.

Approach your money challenges with optimism. Once you commit to setting up good financial habits, your positive steps will also compound over time.

The team at CVF Credit Union have tools to help you make the most of your money. Ask for a session with a credit union financial counselor, or for referral to a counseling service. We can help you replace anxiety about your money with the confidence that comes from establishing good financial habits.


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