Financial channels all over the Internet, in print and on television constantly offer advice on how to save more and spend less.
There are people who will listen and work out of a financially tough time and there are those who will not heed the advice and continue to spend more money than they earn.
Feeling strapped for cash and hitting the bottom of your personal financial barrel are two different things. Here are 7 signs your personal finances have hit rock bottom.
Sign #1 – You cannot pay for basic home expenses. Basic home expenses include rent, mortgage, water, sewer, electricity, and other necessities.
Sign #2 – You juggle bills to buy food. Choosing between paying the electric bill for heat and feeding children should not be a choice you have to face.
Sign #3 – You write checks then pull money out of the ATM knowing the checks will bounce. The check is written at the grocery store for food, diapers, formula, and other items that may bounce, but at least there is money in the house to pay bills.
Sign #4 – Your bills are always paid well after the due date, racking up late fees. Late fees are often assessed on any utility bill or loan payment paid after the scheduled due date.
Sign #5 – You have given up paying on some loans like mortgage loans or auto loans. Contemplating allowing a car to be repossessed or a home foreclosed on is a sign of personal financial distress.
Sign #6 – You throw away financial correspondence without reading it first. Personal financial distress can cause anyone to feel as though all correspondence is negative.
Sign #7 – You do not carry important insurance due to cost – health, dental, auto, house or fire. Lack of insurance coverage as part of personal financial distress is not only unsafe, it can be illegal.
How to Recover from Personal Financial Distress and Rock Bottom
If any of these signs sound familiar, seek help now. Apply for emergency aid from the local Department of Health and Human Resources.
Food stamps (SNAP), emergency heating benefits and temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) are three of the more common benefits offered by state agencies for people in personal financial distress.
Some programs will supply benefits within days of application.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) programs can also help families with infants and small children.
For housing assistance, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development offers vouchers to help pay housing bills, such as rent payments.