Budgets and Money

3 Warning Signs Your Household Budget Is Out Of Control

Financial emergencies happen, it's inevitable. But how you handle those emergencies can determine whether you can keep your finances in check or create unnecessary stress on your family budget.

Maintaining Control of Your Household Budget

It can happen to the best of us. There's an unexpected medical bill, a house or car repair that puts an immediate demand on an already stressed household budget. To meet your needs, you set aside one bill to pay another, filling in the gaps by charging expenses that you know won't be paid off at the end of the month.

Unfortunately a mole hill of credit card debt can quickly turn into a mountain if you don't recognize the warning signs. If this happens to you, the most important thing is to stay the course and try to get back on track - no matter how out of control the situation may seem. Here are three signs that may be the “red flag” warning you need to get your household budget back on track.

You don't have a payoff date.

Credit card debt can easily spin out of control if you don't have an idea of when you'll be able to pay back your debt. By setting some type of payoff date, you're actually setting a timeline for yourself to meet. This can give you some peace of mind knowing that you have an attainable goal that'll get you that much closer to being debt free.

You only pay the minimum amount due.

Paying the least possible amount on your credit cards is a lot like going nowhere fast. If you find that you are continually paying only the minimum each month, you'll need to get your balance under control. Start small by committing to an extra five dollars or rounding off to the nearest hundred, you'll find it easier to recover from potential spiral.

You've quit saving to pay down your credit card debt.

It may seem impossible to save when you have lingering credit card debt, but everyone should be saving something. At the very least, try putting a few bucks in a type of emergency fund. This way, you can continue to chip away at your debt, while establishing a readily available source of cash when you need it.

Finding your way out of credit card debt may not be easy, but it's certainly not impossible if you recognize some of the early warning signs. However, if you feel that you may need some help getting things back under control you may want to contact a reputable credit counseling service to explore your options.

For more information on household budget tips, as well as how to establish an emergency fund, visit the Protective Learning Center.

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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

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Maintaining Control Of Your Household Budget

Does it feel as though your household budget is out of control? Wondering if you had paid better attention that you might have been able to stay on track? This article looks at three warning signs that your household budget may be out of control. For more information, visit the Protective Life Learning Center.

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