It seems that the national economic turndown happened suddenly, catching most people, in and out of the government, unaware of what was happening. It doesn’t seem it should have taken us by surprise. So, what should we look at to see if we as individuals are getting into monetary trouble?
First, I’ll point out the obvious; don’t consistently spend more than you take in (kind of a no-brainer). Having said that, here’s what else we should look for.
- You keep overdrawing your checking account. This may happen once in a great while, but even once every month means you need to track your balance better. Build a budget and stick to it.
- You are only able to meet the minimum payment on credit card bills every month. Use the card less often and pay more than the minimum every month.
- You have no emergency fund or it is being depleted every month.
- You have to decide which bills to pay in a “rob Peter to pay Paul” scenario.
- Your credit score is dropping faster than a gorilla on a mountain bike.
There are other factors, but having a couple or more could indicate you’re heading for financial difficulty from which it is hard to recover. Sometimes things happen beyond your control, such as layoffs, but that’s why it’s important to have a budget that includes saving into an emergency fund.
One way to start saving painlessly is to set up part of your Direct Deposit into a Saving Account at UKFCU. Come on into any branch location or call our Call Center at (859) 264-4200 for more details.