How much is too much: How to tell if you’re overloaded with debt
Are you up to your eyeballs in debt? If so, you’re not alone. Household debt balances are over $12 trillion nationwide. Most of this can be attributed to mortgages. Let’s take a look at how to determine if you’re debt is out of control.
Signs That Your Debt Is Bonkers
If you’re going paycheck to paycheck, you should get in the debt-mentality now. Kick yourself in the pants and get motivated. Keep in mind that anything could happen to knock you off course: You could get fired or injured and can no longer work.
Check your bank account and credit card balances each month. If you’re failing to pay off your balance, you’re playing with fire. Rent should be the biggest expense for most people. If your various debts exceed the cost of rent or mortgage payments, it’s another glaring sign that stormy financial seas await you.
Where To Draw The Line With Debt
Most financial advisors agree that your debt should never exceed between 15%-20% of your total expenses. One theory is the 50/30/20 principle: It outlines that 50% of your income should go towards necessities, 30% towards luxuries, and 20% or less to saving money and paying off debt.
Since you want to be putting as much into savings as possible, your debt should never exceed 15%. You’re going to retire sometime, and that isn’t going to pay for itself.
Know How Much Savings You Need To Feel Secure
Most people make emotional decisions when it comes to money. If this sounds like you, good! You can harness your anxiety and stress to your advantage. Rather than stress-shopping, stress-save.
Soothe your worries about the future by building up an emergency fund. Life feels less stressful when you know can survive for six months if you lose your job. The future tends to look brighter with a robust 401K plan.
If you have too much debt to handle all at once, take care of whatever has the highest interest rate first. Take baby-bites out of your debt until you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.