CNN is reporting that according to the American Bankers Association, delinquencies on credit cards (and other loans) have reached an all-time high. Taking a step back, it feels good to realize that I’m not included in these statistics. It has now been a while since I’ve been financially irresponsible. Sure, I make mistakes sometimes, such as timing a transfer poorly and being slapped with an overdraft charge. But it’s good to know I have my finances in control.
I should be thinking about taking it to the next step. I have an informal budget, but it’s more of the ex post facto sort. Also, I’ve never really set financial goals because I’ve been unsure of my capabilities. On the other hand, it’s time.
I’m setting a deadline of October 31. By Halloween, I’ll have some long term goals worked out and a specific budget designed to rein in some of my excess spending. Shorter term goals will show up during November and December while planning 2006.
CNN suggests the following checks to make sure you’re not too deep into carrying credit card balances:
* You can only afford to make minimum payments on your credit card;
* You’re always short of cash;
* You’re late on important payments, such as rent or the mortgage;
* You take longer and longer to pay off your balances;
* You borrow from one lender to pay another.
Updated May 26, 2009 and originally published September 29, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.