Take this "Financial Trainwreck" quiz from drphil.com. Answer true or false to the following statements:
- I will neglect bills to make an impulse or luxury purchase.
- I will make a purchase based on my perceived need or desire, or what I feel I deserve, instead of what I can afford.
- I buy items out of guilt for my children, whether or not I can afford them.
- I buy name-brand goods because of the emotional feeling.
- I sometimes finance toys — boats, RVs, four-wheelers — or vacations.
- I use borrowed money, such as credit cards, to make payments on items I have already financed.
- I charge basic living expenses: mortgage, car note, student loan, tax bill.
- I buy things based on monthly payments instead of actual cost.
- I lack a budget or plan based on my financial reality, and lie to myself or spouse about expenditures.
- When I'm stressed out, anxious or celebrating, I spend money I don't have.
So, what's the solution? According to Kiplinger.com, here are some ways to remedy the situation:
- Track spending and watch expenses. Track down to your spending pattern on a daily basis. Be detailed.
- Start cutting. 1) Cut interest rates by asking for lower rates from your lender or find a card that has low fixed rates. 2) Find deals. For example, use Skype and lower your long-distance bill.