5 Things to Remember When Your Finances Are Falling Apart

February 01, 2013

U.S. News & World Report

Most personal finance experts will tell you to put money away for a rainy day, but what do they suggest if you’re in the middle of a torrential downpour, just at the point your funds have virtually run out and the roof is leaking?

While the big picture for the economy is looking promising—car sales, housing, manufacturing, and the stock market are all up—there are still a number of discouraging economic indicators. Unemployment hangs at a stubborn high, as does credit card debt. On that latter point, adults born between 1980 and 1984 are estimated to have approximately $5,500 more in credit card debt than their parents’ generation and about $8,000 more than their grandparents’ generation, according to an Ohio State University study recently published in the journal Economic Inquiry.

Sharon Lassar, professor and director of accountancy at the University of Denver, suggests sifting through the bills and looking for places to trim. It may be time to cancel the Netflix subscription or scale back on your cell phone’s data plan. “If you’re able to get to work and run errands with public transportation, consider selling the car to avoid the cost of insurance and maintenance,” Lassar says.