Denial is so tempting, especially around money. But oh so dangerous. That’s why I urge you to take the Five Signs Test, featured in this Yahoo article: Five Signs That You’re Living Beyond Your Means. http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/105396/Five-Signs-That-You’re-Living-Beyond-Your-Means

“If you find that one or more of them apply to you,” the article warns, “it is likely time to reevaluate your spending and work on a long-term financial plan. Recognizing the problem is the first step to finding a solution.”

Here are the 5 Signs:

Sign No. 1 – Your Credit Score is Below 600

To find your credit score is, contact (TransUnion, Equifax, Experian) for a copy of your credit report.

Sign No. 2 – You are Saving Less Than 5%

Best to sock away as much as possible, but most financial experts suggest a minimum of 10% of your gross income.

Sign No. 3 – Your Credit Card Balances are Rising

If you’re paying only the monthly minimum, consider that a big red flag. “A person with $5,000 in credit card debt that makes the minimum payment of just $200 per month will end up spending more than $8,000 and take almost 13 years to pay off that debt.”

Sign No. 4 – More Than 28% of Your Income Goes To Your House

Why 28 % ? Because, experts say,“ this is the rate at which the average person can get by, make their mortgage payments and still enjoy a reasonable standard of living.”

Sign No. 5 – Your Bills are Spiraling Out of Control

The solution? Start slicing and dicing your expenses. Figure out what you spend each month and decide where you can cut. “Some of the best places to find savings include; your telephone bills (cell and land line), your utility bills (turn off the lights, and don’t run the air conditioning if nobody is home) and your entertainment expenses (you could stand to dine out less and to pack a lunch for work).”

You owe it to yourself to answer these questions honestly… any thoughts?

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