5 Signs You Are Bad with Money

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5 Signs You Are Bad with Money

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Sometimes, signs of being bad with money are not visible. Many people think that having a financial issue means having $300,000 in debt, filing bankruptcy, or some other extreme situation. That is not always the case. Money difficulties can be very subtle and you never know you have a problem until you encounter financial emergency like broken appliance, home repair, or even job loss. Do you have a problem with your money management? Let’s find out.

5 Signs You Are Bad with Money

You need loans for vacation

If you are getting a loan from a bank or maxing out credit cards just to fund your vacation, then you are bad with money. You are using money that you do not have. Don’t get me wrong, vacations are a great thing when they don’t put you in debt. Saving for a vacation also builds the anticipation of taking the vacation. It feels that much better when you know that you paid for your vacation in cash.

Your car have negative equity

If you owe more on your vehicle than what it is worth, you are bad with money. This is the case for many people with an auto loans. Although, it is best to pay cash for a car, sometimes it may not be possible or realistic. I was guilty of this. I had to have a new car after I graduated college. I paid less than 5% on the down payment. Big mistake! I had negative equity before I left the car dealer’s parking lot!

To avoid negative equity, simply put down a bigger down payment or pay cash in full. If you are trading in a car that you still owe money on, don’t trade it in! That will be more negative equity and a higher car payment amount. Keep your vehicle and pay it off. After it is paid off, take those payments and put them in your savings account to save for your next vehicle to avoid negative equity.

Your credit score is below 620

Have you checked your credit score lately? If you have a poor credit score (less than 620), then you are bad with money. Bad credit scores can mean you are missing bill payments, your identity was stolen, or inaccurate delinquencies on your credit statement.

If you are planning a big purchase that needs to be financed, you need get your credit score up. Increasing your credit score gives you a chance at having the lowest interest rate that will save you lots of money on your monthly payments.

For more about increasing your credit score, check out How to Raise Your Credit Score Like a Boss

You have LESS THAN $500 in savings for emergencies

Did you know 37% of Americans cannot pay for a $500 emergency? If this is you, then you are bad with money. Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes such as car tire replacement, roof shingle repair, and replacing a broker washer or dryer (just did that one last month). You never know when something is going to stop working, break, or disappear. It is best to be prepared for those emergencies without disrupting your life.

If you need help planning for financial emergencies, check out How to Make an Emergency Financial Plan

You have $0 saved for retirement

If you have no money saved for retirement, then you are bad with money. More than 27% of working Americans have NO money saved for retirement. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be working when I am 80 years old. I don’t care how old you are, the time is now to start saving for retirement. It is never too late.

If you have some retirement savings but you are not contributing reoccurring deposits to your retirement account, then you need to start contributing. Even if you can only afford $10 a month, that is better than nothing.

For more information about retirement, check out Roth vs Traditional IRA: Retirement Basics and How to Choose the Right 401k Contribution Rate

If you can relate to any of these statements, you are bad with money. I am not going to sugar coat it. Sometimes you need a dose of reality to start making a change, big or small. Good news is that you don’t have worry; you have a chance to get on track. It is time to take a hard look at your finances and see what is causing you money problems and what is giving you a headache.

Now that you figured out that you may or may not have a money problem, what is your next step in your financial journey?


  1. No having an emergency fund is a huge red flag. It’s one of those basic personal finance tools that everyone should use. Not everyone needs 6-12 months of expenses but everyone needs at least a bit of cash set aside for emergencies.

    If you don’t have an emergency fund then that should be your first financial goal.

  2. Anecia says:

    I agree with this so much. I didn’t realize how bad I was with money until a few months ago. I’m getting it together though.

  3. Shauna says:

    These are great tips! Sadly we are in a generation of living beyond our means and borrowing to make up for what we do not have. Financial literacy is key! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  4. Patrice says:

    I have a confession. I am bad with money! Reading these indicators just reminded me. Yikes!

  5. Great start, thanks for sharing.

  6. Great points! I will say though that now that I’m 100% debt free, I suspect my credit score will drop below 620 at some point. It’s already gone down these past two years since we paid off the house. “Funny” that a multi-millionaire can be considered a poor credit risk, but such is the way of things…

    • That is very true about the credit score dropping. Mine has dropped since becoming debt free but staying current on bills and good standing accounts should keep you above the 620 threshold.

  7. Annie Butler says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing. I shared on my FB page.

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