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Living Beyond Your Means? How to Tell If Bankruptcy is on the Horizon

Millions of Americans are living beyond their means, but many have no idea their financial situation is as bleak as it is. For some, things will turn around before they reach the crisis point. Perhaps they are saddled with student loan payments or they are in the midst of a job change. Unfortunately for some, though, the financial problems will continue until they hit the breaking point.

If you suspect you are heading for a financial catastrophe, but you aren’t sure just how bad things have gotten, now is the time for an assessment. What do you need to consider?

How Much You Have in Your Rainy Day Fund

Many people assume that if they have at least three months savings it is enough. Though three months is a great place to start, you really want to have a year’s worth of savings before you relax. The three month number was devised by financial gurus during a time when unemployment was lower and jobs were easier to find. Nowadays, you need at least a year of living expenses saved to truly be able to relax and enjoy your disposable income.

How You Paid for Your Last Vacation

If you need a credit card to fund a vacation you should probably reconsider that vacation. This is not to say you shouldn’t use a credit card to pay for the trip and earn reward points. Vacations are typically a significant chunk of change that can result in significant rewards. The key is being able to pay off the entire amount you charge by the next time the bill is due.

How Often You Face Bank Overdraft Fees

If you are using overdraft protection from your bank, chances are you are spending more than you have. And if it was a situation where a check was not deposited in time or an unexpected charge caused a mishap, you need to look long and hard at how you are organizing your finances.

How Close You are to the Max on Your Credit Cards

If you are relying on credit to spend to the point that you are near, at, or over your credit card limits, you are headed for trouble. This is especially true if you are over your limit on any card because there is a good chance you are paying over limit fees every month.

How You Make Your Credit Card Payments

If you are using one card to pay another, trouble lies ahead. If you need credit to afford what you are putting on credit, a financial disaster is not far behind.

Other tell-tale signs you are living beyond your means? Your credit score has taken a hit over recent years and things have yet to get back on the right track. Check out this page to get an idea of a decent credit score range and learn what factors are used to determine your credit score.

If talking or thinking about finances gives you a sinking feeling, chances are things are not right and they will not get right until you take action.

Are you wondering what you can do to fix your financial problems or you know drastic action is necessary? We can help. Contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 for more information or to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation.

 

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At the Tampa Bay law firm, the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A., we help people with consumer bankruptcy matters in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg,  Florida communities such as Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Thonotosassa, Riverview, Lutz, Plant City, Brandon, Carrollwood, Wesley Chapel, St. Petersburg Beach, Lakeland, Mulberry, Dade City, Pinellas Park, Largo, Seminole, Odessa, Oldsmar and Lithia, and counties such as Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County and Manatee County.