A recent poll hosted on the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) website asked consumers if they had a spending problem, savings problem, neither, or both. The overwhelming majority, 62%, identified themselves as having problems related to both spending and saving.
The good news is that having a problem with both spending and savings is actually just one problem: spending. The bad news is that overspending is often tied to deep-rooted behavior, making it very difficult to change.
To help identify the danger signals associated with overspending, the NFCC encourages consumers to consider the following 10 warning signs to determine if spending is under control or out of control. People identifying with these actions are advised to seek help immediately, as the problem will not resolve itself.
- Purchases hidden from others.
- Bills paid late or ignored.
- Checking accounts routinely overdrawn.
- Credit essential to maintain current lifestyle level.
- Unwilling to review how money is spent.
- Unaware of how much is owed.
- Items routinely purchased, and then returned.
- Shopping used as a salve for emotional stress.
- Unwilling to set financial goals.
- Afraid to check credit report and score.
Spending and saving should be able to peacefully coexist in a budget. Success lies in balancing these two seemingly competing forces.