OOOoooOOOOooooOOoooo….. It’s that spooktacular time of year again. The ghouls and goblins come out, the headless horseman finds a jack-o-lantern to use as a head, and all of those little punks show up on my doorstep begging my candy off of me. (Don’t worry; I really do buy candy for them. But I buy what I like hoping there are leftovers.)
If you get deeper into the spirit of the holiday, there are scary movies, haunted houses, ghost tours, and an odd collection of parties, gatherings, and other rituals. See a black cat cross your path and you can jump right out of your skin.
It’s true. Most of Halloween is all good fun. Even the good scare of a horror flick is in the name of entertainment. Back in high school, we decided to have a bit of a movie marathon so we watched some of the Leprechaun movies. Way more laughs and groans than true scares.
In the spirit of Halloween, let’s get a little scary about personal finances. A real kind of scary unlike the Leprechaun movies kind of scary. After a relatively short search on the internet, here are a few financial statistics that will probably elicit more scares than laughs.
67% of Americans would struggle to come up with $1,000 in an emergency. Medical, auto, home repair, etc., these things are kind of important. And the majority of us couldn’t pay for them. – source
78% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. If we add a loss of income to our situation, often due to reasons out of our own control, the vast majority of us would be in a real pickle. Think of it as being a month away from being homeless. – source
40% of student loan borrowers are expected to go into default by 2023. That will impact any further student loans, any other loans in general, and their credit report. Your credit report, among other things, can impact your available credit, employment, insurance rates, and even getting a cell phone. The horror of horrors, how will you survive without a phone?!? – source
35% of Americans with a credit report have a debt in collections. Aside from the stress and emotional wear and tear this can cause, it further damages credit scores, adds significant cost in interest and fees, and can directly impact paychecks and bank accounts if the collector gets a judgment and garnishment. – source
33% of Americans have NOTHING saved for retirement. So, how does working until the age of 90 sound? Now there is a scary thought! But living expenses don’t stop accruing just because we don’t have a job. – source
Nearly 1/3 of Americans only pay the minimum payment on their credit cards. This can turn that quick and easy purchase into payments of 20 years or more with a TON of interest. Like more interest than the amount of money originally borrowed. – source
These are just a few of the scary financial statistics that are out there. But it’s the internet, right? Almost as scary as these facts is the idea that we might actually trust something found on the internet….. Well, ok, some of what is on the internet is accurate.
Then let’s talk about real life. I used to be a loose spender. I was definitely the spender in our household. That was until I started working here at the Center for Financial Resources. We have a lot of really good people come through here. I’m not saying anything to the contrary. The statement I am trying to make is that I have seen the impact of financial challenges and it has definitely scared me into making sure we don’t end up there ourselves if at all possible. I still like to spend money, but I do it much more conservatively now that I have seen how financial challenges impact families.
Perhaps one of the scariest statistics out there is that most people in financial trouble report they didn’t even realize they were in financial trouble until they were in a very serious situation. Whether they chose not to notice or truly just didn’t know, they didn’t acknowledge the problem until it was too late. Well, ALMOST too late.
Because the counselors at the Center for Financial Resources have seen just about everything, they have also learned how to deal with just about everything. You don’t have to feel like managing your finances is like walking through a haunted graveyard at midnight under a full moon. Our counselors will walk with you and turn the light on so you can see your current situation and, more importantly, see the path to a better place.
If you would like to schedule an appointment, you can do that by calling us at 605-330-2700 or by going to our website.
written by Breck Miller, Community Relations Coordinator
images courtesy freedigitalphotos.net
LSS Center for Financial Resources
Consumer Credit Counseling Service | Housing Resources | Sharpen Your Financial Focus| Financial Fitness Education
705 East 41st Street, Suite 100 |Sioux Falls SD 57105-6047
605-330-2700 or 888-258-2227
Strengthening Individuals, Families & Communities