The pandemic has forced people to pay more attention to their finances. That’s a (tiny) silver lining to take from the last year. As things slowly creep back to normal, it’s important that you remain vigilant and maintain those good money habits. But complacency is a real thing. It wouldn’t be surprising if, months down the line, you loosen up a bit. With that in mind, here are some warning signs that you’re slipping, and your money management is in need of a revamp.
You Forget the Details
The details of weekly and monthly bills aren’t exactly exciting. However, we bet that during the pandemic, you’ve been keeping a close eye on every single expense. If you find that you aren’t quite sure how much bills are — was that cable bill $150 a month? Maybe $200? — that’s a red flag. If and when that happens, it’s a sign you need to get reacquainted with your budget. Review and revamp your budget so things don’t get out of control.
Things Tighten Up
If you find yourself approaching paycheck-to-paycheck status, that’s a warning sign that things are out of control. While everyone struggles to pay bills at times, if it becomes a habit, it’s time to retrench and make changes. Start by cutting expenses. Then make sure your emergency fund is stocked. If you’ve let that slip, you could have a hard time paying for unexpected expenses, which puts a strain on everyday expenses.
Another warning sign that your money management is in need of a revamp is a trend of ballooning expenses. Make sure you’re regularly reviewing your budget to keep spending in check. If you notice an upward trend on your expenses, it’s time to cut back. As USA Today notes, no one is perfect with money, the key is to recognize bad patterns and fix them in a timely manner.