There’s nothing worse than the crippling anxiety that comes with financial hardship. This fear is only compounded by the fact that sixty-two percent of U.S. bankruptcies are due to medical expenses. Scarier yet, forty-seven percent of Americans don’t even have $400 saved in case of an emergency. If you ever find yourself worrying about saving for the future, paying for healthcare, or being prepared in case of an emergency, then now’s your chance to prepare yourself financially. The following are our six tell-tale signs you might need financial help, and that it’s time to start asking for it.
1. You’re Living Off Loans
Taking out loans to pay for medical expenses or basic essentials is a surefire sign that you’re in financial hot water. While taking out a loan to mortgage your house or to help pay for college is often necessary, no one should have to resort to loans as their only means of survival. High interest rates could mean you’ll be paying them off long into the future, not to mention outstanding debt can compromise your credit score. If you do take out a loan, be sure to look at the small print, and determine whether or not this is a financial agreement you’re comfortable being tied to for the immediate future.
2. You Tap Into What Little Savings You Have
If you find yourself unable to grow your savings or you’re continuously tapping into them, it might be time to look at where your funds are actually going. First, determine whether or not you’re putting away too much. If you’re biting off more than you can chew, try depositing a smaller amount each month. Results might not be as dramatic, but at least you’ll be living within your means. If you’re saving the bare minimum but still hitting a wall every month, then it might be time to assess your budget and address why you’re continuously falling short.
3. You’re Afraid to Look at Your Credit Card Bill
Knowing that you’ve fallen even deeper into debt is a demoralizing feeling. But even worse, it can inspire apathy. Seeing the number on your statement continue to rise only adds to the fear that you’ll never climb out of the hole you’ve dug yourself into.
4. You Don’t Think Twice About Taking on More Debt
Similar to the above, if taking out an additional credit card or payday loan doesn’t phase you in the slightest, then you might have a serious problem. Debt is not to be taken lightly, especially when it comes with a high interest rate. A purchase you make today can end up costing tenfold down the line. It’s an instant fix with long term repercussions.
5. You’re Paying Off One Line of Debt with Another
It’s not abnormal to consolidate debt, especially if you have numerous lines of credit. Paying off multiple credit cards each month can be overwhelming. That’s why containing your debt to one lender can make it easier to track what you owe. However, taking out a loan to tackle your debt is different than paying off one line of credit with another. While juggling your debt might create the illusion that you’re paying it off, in reality, you’re simply accruing more interest and getting even further away from breaking even.
6. You’re Unable to Think About Your Future
This is a biggie. If you’re unable to think about your future in a meaningful way — whether it be going to college or affording that life-changing surgery — then you’re doing yourself a disservice. While not everyone is afforded the same opportunities, that doesn’t mean you should deny yourself of your wants or needs. Many people are turning to crowdfunding as a way to rally financial support for their charitable or medical causes. Consider starting a free fundraiser, so you can start saving for the future you deserve.