Are you drinking champagne on a beer budget? Danger signs and pitfalls

Are you living above your means? You want the high life and the best things that money can buy except you really have no money! In fact your balance isn’t even zero, it’s in the negative. You are even living off your credit card, take out loans, have countless clothing accounts and probably owe a few people money too. For some of you it may not be this bad but you know that if you continue on the path you are on it could get to that place where you are in huge debt, working doubly hard just to make ends meet.

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You may need to take a good hard look at your situation and fix it while you are ahead. If your housing ratio is above 28% of your income, you may need to think about a move. Find a smaller place or just a move to a different area could make a huge difference.

If you are not able to pay your bills at the deadline you have to seriously consider budgeting. Work out your monthly expenses and what is left is all that you have to spend. That means you may not be able to go to the hairdresser that month and buy a box of colour instead. It may mean dining at home instead of eating out. Late payments reflect on your credit score and make life more difficult for you in the long run so it is best to get on top of this while you can. When you want to purchase a new phone or TV and denied because you have a bad credit rating is not a place you want to end up.

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Do not make the mistake of trying to keep up with friends. If you have to say no to a vacation, a movie or music event then say no! It may be hard at first but be strong and find other inexpensive ways of entertaining or hanging out with friends. Picnics, days at the beach, movie nights at home or game night!

There are many frugal ways of living a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. Pinterest has a load of DIY ideas for your home. You do not have to give your kitchen a whole new makeover but can do it in stages and sometimes it is just a touch of paint or being creative that goes along way. My friends and I have clothes swapping parties, they are such fun and one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. Not to mention the cheese and wine part. In fact I am not shy to admit that I absolutely love second hand shopping. Refurbishing old furniture, second-hand books and I support the SPCA and hospice shops frequently.

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You need to be in a position where you can pay all your monthly expenses and even save a little each month or at the very least work towards paying your own debt back instead of increasing it.

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