Learn something new every day More Info... by email
Some of the best tips for financial self-help are to take action on problems, to create a budget, to think about goals and to learn how to deal with companies that are owed money. A lot of companies are more than willing to customize a payment plan for someone who is going through a financial crisis, but they should be contacted as soon as possible. In addition, it is important to know where money is being spent and the short-term goals that a person has for his or her money. Lastly, if a person is already deep in debt and being harassed by a company, learning the local laws and taking action against the company can help relieve stress and get back on track.
The best method of financial self-help is to take action on debt problems rather than ignoring them. A person that falls behind on his or her credit card or hospital bills should attempt to make the minimum payment each month. If that is not possible, the creditors need to be contacted as soon as possible. These companies merely want to get paid the money they are owed, so the vast majority of them are happy to create a better payment plan, even if it is temporary. The last thing they want to do is pass someone’s debt onto a debt collection agency, which ensures that the original company never gets 100 percent of the money owed.
Part of being financially responsible is knowing how much money is being made each month and where it is all being spent. A lot of financial self-help books talk about setting a budget and making goals. The importance of these actions cannot be underestimated, because the results can be surprising. For example, some people spend the majority of their money on food without realizing it, when they could eat roughly the same things for half the price if they bought in bulk or shopped during grocery store sales. Specific goals are important to narrow down what a person wants in life, because “make more money” is vague and never has an end.
Sometimes a person already owes a company a great deal of money, or the company has passed on the debt to a collection agency. In these cases, that person might be receiving an excessive number of phone calls about the debt, which could be legally defined as harassment. An expert in financial self-help knows the laws regarding this kind of contact and when companies are no longer obeying those laws. In general, no company is above the law and cannot legally harass a citizen; some countries even have laws that state exactly when and how many times a company can call people to talk about debts. For example, it might be illegal for a company to call at the times of the day when most people would be asleep.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!