For many South African’s financial trouble is something that creeps up on them and they only realise they’re in trouble when it’s far too late. Having said that financial trouble is far from a thief in the night or an unwanted accident but a series of poor judgement and bad financial habits that land South African consumers in the red.

Luckily, financial troubles are something that can be diagnosed early and if caught and treated can ensure that you lead a long and financially healthy lifestyle.

So what these financial warning signs and what should you do about them? Let’s dive in and find out

#1: You have no idea what your financial situation is

Ask yourself how much are you spending each month and what are you spending it on. If you don’t know what is going on in your accounts, it means you are spending on a whim with no budget in mind. This kind of irresponsible spending is dangerous and can quickly land you in the red zone or worse blacklisted.

For more on budget control we recommend you check out our posts:

2: You are buying food and petrol on credit every month

The moment you start funding essentials with credit, warning lights need to flash in front of your eyes. It means that your expenses are more than what you earn and that tank of petrol you have just “borrowed” R600 for will escalate to R1000 in less than three months.

For more on credit cards we recommend you check out our posts:

# 3: You are lying about money

Are you hiding your credit card statements from your spouse? Does he/she have no idea how much debt you have and you are telling lie upon lie to keep it that way? If you are lying about your financial situation it means you are ashamed and this shame will cause you to stress, and perhaps even spend more.

Stop! Spill the beans and make a plan together. Hiding your debt will not only cause financial strain but also emotional strain and trust issues.

# 4: You’re funding debt with debt

Once you start transferring money from your credit account to your cheque account to fund your home loan, car payment or any other debt, you are paying double interest. If you are doing this regularly you will soon find yourself in far more debt than you started off with.

For more on paying old debt with a new debt we recommend you check out our posts:

# 5: You have no savings

This might not seem like such a big issue but is probably one of the biggest issues in South Africa today, it’s not just about making ends meet. Saving is everyone’s responsibility to make sure you have something left for all your efforts.

If you have no savings or emergency money you have nothing left at the end of each month, which means you will need to take out a loan or use credit to fund any unforeseen costs.

For more on savings we recommend you check out our posts:

# 6: You are only paying the minimum amount on your credit cards.

Just paying the minimum on your credit card bills means you will never get rid of the debt and because of the interest, the total amount of debt will escalate each month. In other words, you are throwing away money.

For more on credit cards we recommend you check out our posts:

# 7: You are borrowing money from family or friends.

Nobody wants to call on family or friends to help with money. Unfortunately, the ugly truth is that if you are turning to others for the money you have most probably depleted all formal credit sources available to you and now you’re becoming desperate.

In cases like these, you’re only digging your hole deeper and not sorting out the real problem. You need the professional financial help like a debt counsellor 

# 8: You are behind on your bills

It doesn’t matter which bill it is, from the smallest to the largest, from the luxury to the necessity. If you don’t have enough money at the end of the month to cover every financial responsibility you have, you’re clearly overextending yourself and need to start drastic actions to reduce the amount you spend each month.

For more on bill repayment we recommend you check out our posts:

Manage your debt effectively

If you still need help with your savings and you’re feeling overwhelmed by your current financial situation, feel free to contact us. To Speak to one our consultants about debt review contact us here.