7 Signs You Are Living Beyond Your Means

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7 Signs You’re Living Beyond Your Means

You’re carrying a credit card balance from month-to-month

If you have a large credit card balance and just pay the minimum each month, you could end up carrying this balance for years while paying a lot in interest. You might also be tempted to make more purchases on the card, ultimately increasing the time it takes to pay off the debt.

You might consider: Checking out our Visa Platinum Low-Rate Credit Card to save on interest. Try to make extra payments on what you owe, while reserving the card only for emergencies.

Paying your bills gives you anxiety

Does the thought of making your monthly bill payments on time fill you with dread? Having a plan upfront can help decrease your stress and empower you to control your finances.

You might consider: Making a monthly budget, detailing your income and spending. Look for areas to cut back on “discretionary” purchases and consider ways to boost your income.

You can’t save 5% of your monthly income

Putting away at least 5% of your income could help you pay for seasonal expenses like vacations, back to school, or holidays, without relying on credit.

You might consider: Trimming your expenses and restructure your budget to include at least 5% for savings. If this amount is not feasible, start with 1-2% and gradually increase each month until you can reach 5%. Carolinas Telco Federal Credit Union (CTFCU) offers a Vacation Savings and Christmas Club account to help you reach your goals.

You don’t have emergency or rainy-day funds

Ideally, you should have an emergency fund to cover urgent needs that you can’t anticipate. According to a recent Bankrate survey, “just 40% of Americans could pay an unexpected $1,000 expense, such as an emergency room visit or car repair, with their savings”.

You might consider: Starting to build your funds now by putting away as much as you can each month, specifically for emergencies. Consider setting up automatic recurring transfers into one of your CTFCU savings accounts to help prepare now for the unexpected.

Your mortgage payment is more than 30% of your monthly income

Most financial experts agree that your monthly mortgage payment should not exceed 30% of your take-home pay.

You might consider:

  •  Finding ways to boost your income. Seek a raise at your current job, freelance for hire, or find another side job for extra cash.
  •  Spending less on another home or consider renting.
  •  Refinancing your existing loan could be an option. Call or visit your local branch to speak with a CTFCU representative to explore your options.

Can you afford to purchase or refinance your leased vehicle?

If the answer is no, this could spell financial trouble.

You might consider: Finding a less-expensive vehicle to purchase. CTFCU has lower interest rates and more flexible options than many other auto loan providers.

Your financial decisions are influenced by your friends’ spending habits

Thanks to social media, the pressure of “keeping up with the Joneses” is stronger than ever. If you find yourself making financial decisions based on your friends’ choices, you could be spending more than you can afford.

You might consider: Not feeling compelled to live up to the expectations of others. The peace of mind you gain by taking control of your finances contributes more to your well-being in the long run.


If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your current financial situation, we might be able to help. Stop by your local branch or call 1-800-622-5305 for assistance.






Disclaimer: This document is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer for the extension of credit. All terms and conditions including references to loan terms, down payment amounts, and rates are subject to change without notice. Real Estate Loans are only available for homes in North Carolina or South Carolina. For information regarding the rate you may qualify for, call us at 1-800-622-5305. All services including loans, credit cards, and checking accounts are subject to approval.

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