Life is challenging at times, for the majority of families and couples it gets harder each day to pay the rent, buy quality food and provided the necessities for what is need each month.
Bankrate.com has released a survey that shows less than 40% of Americans have very little or no back up money saved when an emergency hits the house hold. Everyone is running out of money from twenty year olds, middle class, retirees, and families from all walks of life simply can not come up with any extra money if some breaks down, the car needs repairs or
living paycheck to paycheck at times cannot even put food on the table at times.
This week the refrigerator dies, next week it will be something else. Prevention is a big contender but yet things don’t always work out the way we want them to.
What most people do not realize is that money is a tool, a means to buy and sell items. People work hard for the money they get, yet they allow money to control them, and control their way of living.
Over 60% of people will struggle to come up with $500 if an emergency hits or if for some reason they run out of money before the next paycheck arrives.
Just as one bad bump can upset the apple cart, if you have an unexpected cost, and you are not prepared, it can set you back financially, or put you deeper into debt
A survey from Bankrate.com shows that the majority of Americans are not prepared for an added expense and would end up adding it onto one of many major cards they owe on. Which in turn racks up higher balances and takes longer to pay it off.
Few will attempt to borrow from family members or friends, while the majority will end up in payday loan place where they will be taken for a ride of an annual percentage rate of over 300 percent. Then what happens is the individual will get stuck in the payday loan cycle and will extremely hard time of getting away from.
Now here is a true story about the Smiths, a couple that is out of money:
I talked with Melvin and Helen Smith about a week ago. They had absolutely no money left for the month and Helen needed to get her prescriptions.
When I ran into them, they were coming out of a payday loan place, which turned them down. Yes, Helen flat out told me their whole situation right there in the plaza parking lot.
I found out that between the two of them, they already have loans out at five different cash advance places.
They are both retired.
Between their social security and Melvin’s pension they get approximately $3,500 a month in income, yet they struggle each month, and this month the money is completely gone.
They still have a mortgage that they owe, they still have a monthly car payment.
Their bank will not give them a loan, or extend them any type of emergency cash.
The cash advance loans they now have are strangling them with the monthly interest fees.
Helen did all of the talking, (I think Melvin was just down right embarrassed and beat down) and all she kept saying is, “I don’t know what we are going to do, we are out of money, and I need my medicine, every loan place that we tried, turned us down”.
After listening to them, the only thing I could do was to offer some suggestions such as having a garage sale, pawning any items in the home. Helen’s response was that they already tried that and they have nothing of value to pawn. The garage sale would be too much work and there was nothing of value to sell off.
I suggested they go to the local office where they help out senior citizens. Sadly to say they already tried that also, and could get no help. Apparently their monthly income is to high.
I then suggested they get credit counseling and was hit with another negative response of “that would take to long.” Actually I realized that any suggestion I made, I received some sort of negative response back.
Helen also said that they tried calling Melvin’s brother to see if he could loan them some money, but he was not answering his phone. (Perhaps he got that call too many times already?)
It was apparent to me that Melvin and Helen are:
Stuck in a vicious cycle of payday loans
They have absolutely no control of their money situation
Obviously they have no set monthly budget.
They have no idea of what next month will bring
They live each day with constant thoughts of having no money (when actually they do have $3,500 a month, yet they are out of control with spending, and debt issues).
When I left the Smiths that day, their only solution was to go to a town about 15 miles away, where they heard a new cash advance place opened up. Helen’s remark was “Let’s go Melvin, we will see if we can get a loan there, I don’t know what else to do.”
Yes this is a true story, next time I see the Smith’s, I will find out if they made any changes in their lives.
I am telling you this story so it will open your eyes to the reality around us. When you are out of money life can get really scary. And yes, I have been there, I know what it is like. I am far from wealthy, I work hard, live a simple life, but I am going full force in planning my future and making sure I have enough money to retire on. You should too.
Now go back and read the last paragraph again.
Never Stop Learning…Angela