10 Sure Signs You’re Being Squeezed By Your Money-Excerpt

By on March 1, 2012

By Patricia Stallworth –

How do you know if you’re being squeezed by your money? Sometimes we live with things one way for so long that it seems normal, and we can’t imagine it any other way. But if you’re being squeezed by your money, there’s a problem. And it’s a problem that you can do something about. If you’re unsure about whether you’re being squeezed by your money, here are ten signs to be on the lookout for: (check all that apply to you)

  1. You live paycheck to paycheck. This is an extreme sign because just one missed paycheck could send you into a downward spiral. And the really sad part is that in most situations, this does not have to be the case. You can often break this cycle with minimal planning.
  2. You’ve gotten so comfortable with credit that you think of it as a part of your income. If every time you want to purchase something, the first thing that comes to mind is “Do I have enough room on my card and how much will this add to my monthly payment?” then you are on the wrong track. Credit is a loan, not part of your income— don’t get it confused.
  3. You look forward to getting a large tax refund to have fun or get some of the things you want. A large tax refund usually means you had too much money withheld from your paycheck and that you basically gave Uncle Sam an interest free loan for a year. A tax refund is not a good savings plan, and it’s certainly not free money.
  4. You avoid opening your bank and credit card statements because you don’t really want to know how bad the situation is. This is the same type of thinking that keeps people who might be sick from going to the doctor, but it doesn’t help you in the long run. You have to know where you stand if you’re ever going to make it better.
  5. Despite the fact that you have a good income, you don’t have money available to put into savings. Savings is the last thing on your list and there never seems to be anything left after you pay your bills. The problem is you can never hope to get ahead if you don’t keep some of what you earn and grow it.
  6. You don’t know how much your bills are or how much total debt you actually have. Knowing how much your bills are and how much debt you have provides you with vital information to make better money choices in the future.
  7. You’re in a job, relationship, or location you don’t like and you can’t leave because you can’t afford to. This is not just a money issue, but also a big physical stressor as well.
  8. You spend 50 percent or more of your income on housing costs. If this is the case, it’s a double whammy because it’s not just your money squeezing you but you squeezing yourself because once you add in your other bills, it’s more than likely difficult to do anything beyond just keeping up, if that.
  9. You don’t have an emergency fund to pay for unexpected expenses, like car repairs or your household bills, if you lose your job. Having an emergency fund helps you stay healthy financially regardless of what life throws at you, regardless of what life throws at you.
  10. You don’t keep receipts because you don’t want to know how much you spent. Knowing where you money goes is key to squeezing back so you can make changes, if necessary, to direct it in the places that matter most to you.

 

Squeeze the Most Out of Your Money: A No-Nonsense Money Management System to Maximize Your Dollars and Minimize Your Money Stress (Squeeze) by Patricia Stallworth is a money management system. It’s a ‘working book’ with exercises, examples and coaches to help you grow and test your skills as you go through the process. However, before you can make changes, you must first recognize there is a problem. You can purchase a copy of Patricia’s book at: http://squeezeyourmoney.com/store/

About Patricia Stallworth

Patricia Stallworth, is an author, speaker, money coach and consultant. She is the founder and CEO of PS Worth, a financial education and consulting firm whose mission is to arm women and men with the skills and tools to take charge and take control of their financial lives, and the author of Squeeze the Most Out of Your Money, Minding Your Money and the 57 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce. Stallworth is a former instructor in the Certified Financial Planner™ and Certified Divorce Financial Analysts programs at Oglethorpe University. She also worked in a management or advisory capacity with several firms, including American Express Financial Advisors and Deloitte & Touche. And she is a former money talk show host for WCLK in Atlanta, Women & Money blogger for BlackEnterprise.com, and Wealthy Smart’s columnist for the Atlanta Tribune. Her website: http://patriciastallworth.com/ and www.MZoneUS.com.

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10 Sure Signs You’re Being Squeezed By Your Money-Excerpt