One of the increasing family problems in the U.S. is finances. It’s estimated that money is the number one cause of stress in relationships. Financial worries can lead to arguments, tension, and a breakdown of trust between family members. It’s also the leading cause of divorce in the country.
Financial stress: What are some of the causes?
Money problems are a reality for so many families in the United States. From struggling to make ends meet to being unable to pay bills or afford basic necessities, financial difficulties plague a large portion of the population. But why? What is causing so many families in the U.S. to experience financial hardships? Here’s a look at some of the factors behind this unfortunate phenomenon plaguing so many households across the country.
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High cost of living
One of the biggest contributors to financial hardships among American families is the high cost of living in most parts of the country. The cost of housing and transportation, as well as basic necessities such as food and medical care, can become overwhelming for those who don’t have a large enough income or savings cushion to rely on when times are tough. This can lead to people taking on more debt than they can handle, creating an even bigger gap between their finances and their needs that can be difficult-if not impossible-to bridge.
Financial stress: Lack of job opportunities
Another major factor behind financial struggles among American families is a lack of job opportunities or wage stagnation. In today’s economy, jobs are often scarce, and those that do exist tend to pay much less than they used to while requiring more skill sets than ever before (think gig economy). This leaves many without steady employment or with wages that don’t quite match up with their expenses, leading to financial distress for those individuals and their families.
Finally, unexpected expenses can also play a role in financial problems among U.S. families. From medical bills due to illness or injury, car repairs needed after an accident, or even just regular wear-and-tear on household items like appliances and furniture, these costs add up quickly and can devastate budgets if they aren’t accounted for ahead of time with emergency funds or other savings accounts set aside specifically for such occasions.
Unfortunately, not everyone has access to these resources when they need them most-which exacerbates existing money woes and creates new ones altogether.
Financial stress: What can I do about it?
Having financial problems is a difficult situation for anyone to face, and it can be especially challenging for families who are struggling to make ends meet. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take as an individual or family unit to help prevent money issues from becoming too much of a burden.
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Start a micro business
This might be a risk, but it’s a way to increase the financial resources of a family. One person can start their own micro business and, with good budgeting and discipline, help balance out the finances in the house. If you want to expand your business and gain more employees don’t be afraid to get help from a professional. There are employment agencies for professionals that can help you find qualified applicants to increase your workforce. The best part is that they even screen them for you.
Create a budget
Creating an effective budget is essential for any family that wants to stay financially healthy. Make sure you account for all expenses and potential contingencies, such as medical bills and car repairs. Look for ways to cut back on unnecessary purchases and make sure that the money you do have is being used wisely. As a rule of thumb have about three months’ worth of savings set aside in case of emergency.
Finally, always strive to save a little something from each paycheck or income source. This way, if an unexpected expense arises, you’ll be better prepared to handle it. Even if you can only put a small amount away each month, that can still make a big difference in the long run-especially if you’re able to take advantage of any tax breaks or other incentives for saving up.
When financial issues arise, it’s important to remember that there are steps that you can take as a family to prevent them from getting worse. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can face money problems head-on and emerge on the other side unscathed-and potentially even better off than before.
Top photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash