HomeFinance:  Financial Habits Cause Distress

Distress a Result of Unwise Financial Decisions

Financial distress is extremely common throughout the United States because Americans have a tendency to continually live above their means. With the ease of obtaining credit cards and loans, many people gradually accumulate more and more debt without realizing it until they are in serious trouble. Oftentimes the path to financial distress starts at a young age: many people upon turning eighteen feel the need to exercise their new freedom and independence by obtaining numerous credit cards, which they often use unwisely.

Although credit cards are not the sole reason people end up with financial problems, they are the primary culprit because they enable people to make purchases without having any money in hand to cover the cost. Most consumers believe they will soon pay off the credit card bill, but as spending habits never cease, the bills continue to mount and the financial pressure builds.

Financial Distress: Consequence of "Success"

In addition to credit cards, the need to have the newest, latest, and greatest of everything leads to financial distress. The United States is generally a very materialistic society that seeks to advertise success through the accumulation of material goods. People buy the biggest houses, the newest cars, and the most up-to-date technology—all to prove that they have more and are more successful than the next guy. Ironically, however, this display of “success” often leads to distress because the inability to pay for everything often strains marriages and relationships, causes undue worry and stress, and can even lead to serious financial hardships.

As easy as it is to get into financial trouble, it is not so easy to get out of it. The good news, though, is that with a little dedication and commitment to solving your financial problems, most people are able to get back on track within five years. Because financial sense is not always common sense, seek the advice of professionals who know the ins and outs of the financial system. There are many non-profit organizations that offer financial counseling and advice about how to consolidate bills and work toward financial stability and security.

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