I was going through a recent story about how cancer patients experience the financial worry. As per the report “Four of every five such American patients and their spouses-caregivers in the study said they had concerns about meeting medical costs and suffered “financial stress.” Worries about paying medical costs also were tied to lower mental and physical health, the study found.”
Not only among patients, the financial worry is one of the most common factors behind poor mental health and it’s the biggest reason for crime. In this era of gadgets and increased social interaction (although mostly virtual) people need money in the bank. More than what our parents or their parents needed, we need money. Naturally, financial worry becoming more and more widespread.
In the list of financial worries, the most significant are debt and lack of money to repay it. It’s not your retirement nest egg size, nor it’s about securing a good education. The number one financial worry we have is of debt repayment.
So, my question to you.
Are you worrying about your finances?
Is the amount of debt you’ve accrued keeping you awake at night? Or – worse – have you completely lost track of where your debt levels may be? Do you have a sneaking suspicion that you’ve been avoiding going over your accounts because you’re afraid of how they’re going to look?
If you feel like you’re in a place of financial overwhelm, it may be time to get some financial help. Below are a few warning signs that it might be time – or past time – to reach out and ask for a little financial help.
If you’ve recently applied for credit of any kind – a car loan, a bank loan, an interest-free deal at your local pawn store, or even a new credit card – and been turned down, it’s an indicator that your credit score is not looking good. (Read – How I got a credit score of 800+)
Your credit rating is how lending institutions measure what kind of a risk you are. If they decide your debt-to-income ratio makes them uncomfortable, they will reject your credit application. There are other significant factors that come into calculation of credit score as well.
You can clean up your credit score, you can bring it back to a good level. But you will probably need help – and time – to do this. Credit rejections are usually an indicator that some financial help may be timely for you.
No Savings for a Rainy Day?
Seem to run out of pay cheque before you run out of days each month? Not an uncommon problem for anyone these days, but if you have not managed to save anything at all, it may be a sign that your spending is getting out of hand. Asking for a little help in getting your money habits under control can save you a lot of heartaches down the track.
I told earlier about the importance of emergency fund. If you have one, this fund will come in handy on a rainy day. This fund will prevent you from borrowing money from a lender. And emergency fund, if you have, is your savior when an unexpected event happens in your life.
Living on Credit?
This one’s an important indicator. If you find you are using one credit card to pay off the next and struggling to stay one step ahead, not only are you causing yourself undue stress, but you are likely to be making your situation worse with every wave of those little plastic cards. Breaking the addiction to credit isn’t easy and getting some help to do this will be worth it in the end. You’ll find you sleep better at night and feel more in control of your financial situation.
Analyzing your bank statements
Go through last few month’s statement. Check if your expenditure is exceeding your income consistently for past few months. If it happens more than 3 times in last 6 months. You’re sure in trouble. You need to act sooner.
Knowing when you need a little help with your financial situation is an important first step along the path to coming back from the brink of debt. In some cases, you may already have slipped into the debt mire – but asking for help is still the best way to get yourself out of it.
Also, the best place to go for financial help is your own emergency fund. If you still need money, you can go to your friends, relatives, parents, siblings. When borrowing money as a loan is your only option, do your best to shop for lowest interest rates.
Also, as an immediate measure cut back on your spending, make a budget and live within it. Come what may, your expenditure should not exceed your income.
The most important advice that I give is to not borrow from credit card cash limit. That’s the last place you want to go for money. At 15+ percent interest rate, they’ll ruin your finances and future. Your family will suffer the most.
Have you, or has anyone you know, ever needed to reach out for financial help? How did you know when it was the right time to do this? What were your warning signs? Looking back, what would you do differently? Sharing your stories can help others. Pass on your insights via the comments section below.