Wednesday, December 19, 2007

You know you have a problem when..

A surprising amount of people have addictive personalities. They just tend to gravitate toward and focus on specific things. These things may give them enormous amounts of joy, or they may just take the edge off of life. It of course depends on the person, their addiction and their surroundings.

It isn't necessarily their fault. Addiction is often hard wired into someone's personality. So it may just be the type of person they are, and hell, their addiction can just as easily be benign versus disastrous.

And addiction doesn't necessarily have to deal with drugs or alcohol. Sure, those are the most common and dangerous. There is a chemical dependence involved. But often someone will just have a mental addiction. Something materialistic that drives their rush, a little shiny hand to throw a little switch in their brain.

I've met people addicted to coffee, diet coke, food in general, exercise, children's toys and books. They're items they cannot live without, and when they reach rough times these vices become bleeding arteries.

It's the same case with people addicted to credit cards. These people, partially through environmental reasons (i.e. lender advertising) and partly through their own deficient faculties (i.e. "I really, really like QVC...") often find themselves in trouble time and time again.

It's my hope to compile a short, concise list in today's post to assist those who may not yet recognize they have a credit problem. Some of these may seem obvious and some may require you to think a little harder. Such is typically the case.

Have a point you'd like to add? Comment and I'll link back to your blog in my next post!

You know you have a problem when...

  1. You spend more than 20% of your income (after taxes) on your debts.

  2. You apply for another credit card because your credit line is not high enough on your existing card(s).

  3. You find yourself paying the minimum amount due more than once within five billing cycles.

  4. You've used your credit cards to pay for basic necessities (rent, utilities) not out of simple convenience, but because you lack the funds in your checking account.

  5. You've used your credit card to pay off another credit card.

  6. Lenders begin calling your home looking for their money.

  7. Lenders begin calling your place of employment looking for their money.

  8. Credit collection agencies begin calling your home looking for your lender's money.

  9. Credit collection agencies begin calling your place of employment looking for your lender's money.

  10. Attorneys begin calling your home looking for the credit collection agencies. Et cetera.

  11. Your car loan lender calls up out of the blue and asks you what your typical work hours are and where you typically keep your vehicles.

  12. QVC is on speed dial.

  13. A major online retailer (,, et cetera) is your home page.

  14. You are denied for a loan. If you did not have a problem, you should have no problem obtaining a substantial loan.

  15. You find yourself without utilities for short periods of time, because you failed to pay and they were disconnected.

  16. You've rationalized your excessive spending in any of the following ways:

    • Life isn't worth living if you can't enjoy yourself.
    • I need it (You need precious few things, it's more likely that you want.)
    • Only this one more time. (Saying this implies that even in your own mind you've established a repeating pattern.)
    • But it's on sale. (Something, somewhere is always on sale.)

  17. Fights have broken out in your relationship over irresponsible spending.

  18. You've been in a relationship that has ended over irresponsible spending.

  19. You find yourself being kept awake at night because:

    • You bought something you regret
    • You regret not buying something earlier in the day
    • You don't know how you're going to survive the next work week

  20. If asked to name everything you've bought with your credit, you fail to remember much of your spending.
Of course these are just a few of the tell tale signs. There are many more, and while you may have found a couple of these points do apply to you, you may not necessarily have a spending problem. But if you're looking for ways to determine if you do, that's likely reason enough.


Daniel said...

yea. i think when the lawyers get involved its time to put down the plastic.

Katie Gregg said...

...yuo go shopping in an attempt to alleviate the stress caused by all your debt!

Little Dough Girl said...

People don't realize how life ruining shopping addiction can be. It's like any other addiction. You just don't see rehab centers for the shopping addict. Though, imagining what that would be is interesting. "Today, group, we're going to talk about coupons...."


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