Financial Advisor

Becoming financially secure — and staying that way — can be incredibly difficult. Just ask the thousands of Americans who file for bankruptcy every year. Americans struggle to save money, and emergencies have a bad habit of coming around when you can least afford them. It’s all too easy to fall into the cycle of debt and start defaulting on loans. In the worst cases, you can even end up losing your home to foreclosure.

So how can you avoid foreclosure? You can start by reading the advice below.

Stop wasting money

There are some things that you just can’t help about your financial situation. Large income and wealth gaps in American ensure that many Americans will struggle with their finances. Still, it’s important to remember that your choices matter, too. Not every expense you have is a mandatory one. While you can’t stop paying rent or eating food, you may be able to cut back on the pricey little luxuries that are costing you dearly (or at least find ways to get them for less).

One example of wasteful spending is the way that many people treat modern technology. Some superfans of high-tech gadgets rush off to buy the latest model of the iPhone every time a new one comes out, but you don’t have to do this to waste money on tech. Perhaps you only buy a new iPhone when your old one stops working — but that still might be wasteful. Many Americans don’t appreciate how tough modern devices can be, explain the experts in iPhone repair at uBreakiFix, and how often those devices can be salvaged when they stop working. You wouldn’t throw out a pricey appliance or a car if it broke down, so why are you doing that with your $1,000 phone?

Build an emergency fund

Experts say that most Americans don’t have enough cash on hand to handle a $1,000 emergency. That’s bad news, and not just because it’s symptomatic of the problems Americans have with money. Not having cash to cover an emergency is more than a symptom — it’s a cause. Run into a problem without cash on hand to fix it, and you could end up putting charges on your credit card or taking out dangerous short-term payday loans. This starts a cycle of debt.

You can avoid this fate by saving carefully and setting aside some of your savings in a place where you can quickly access it — like a checking account, for instance. This rainy day fund is your solution when things go off the rails unexpectedly. Until disaster strikes, though, don’t touch it.

Know your legal options

Debt and foreclosure are scary things. They can also be complicated. That’s why it often pays to turn to experts. Financial advisers and other professionals can help you get organized and tackle your debt — and, if all else fails, attorneys can help you file for bankruptcy. That won’t be a pleasant process, but it will give you a chance at a fresh start.

Bankruptcy is a powerful thing — in many cases, it can even stop foreclosure proceedings in their tracks. It may or may not be the right choice for you, but it’s an option. Only an attorney who is familiar with your situation can give you legal advice on bankruptcy and related matters, so schedule a consultation if you want to explore that option. Debt and foreclosure are upsetting and scary, but they don’t have to control your life or your future.

Despite official figures indicating a steady rate of economic growth in the US over the past decade, for far too many American families, financial freedom is farther from their reach than ever before. Financial exclusion is the new reality for millions of people for whom buying a home or attending college has become a mere fantasy. However, if you’ve read this far, you’ve already taken the first step toward financial freedom – you’ve acted on your impulse to break the broke cycle.

Let’s outline some essential tips for families looking to break this negative monetary cycle:

Start Small

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It sounds counter-intuitive, but small, interest-free loans are making the American Dream a possibility again. A growing number of NFP or charitable institutions are offering low-interest, or interest-free loans for lower income families that can provide access to much-needed capital to achieve goals, such as paying for college and starting a new business.

Roadmap to Success

Start yourself on the road to financial improvement by building a roadmap to reach your goals. It’s crucial to have tangible, achievable goals in mind when planning out your pathway to stability, as well as clear strategies to help you reach them.  Keep in mind that like any well-constructed plan, things can and will go wrong, so make sure you have back-ups prepared for when life’s obstacles arise.

Business to the side

If you’re cash-strapped, it may be a wise move to look at ways to generate additional income to supplement your regular employment. There are plenty of homegrown side businesses that can augment your primary income, and the internet is making it easy with a proliferation of websites allowing people to offer their freelance services to potential clients all over the world. You could even find that you’re earning more than your regular day job, like making a YouTube channel or crowdfunding.

Youthful saving

If you have children, start their financial education early by establishing a bank account in their names, so they can to learn how to save. It encourages them to put more money in their savings account than they draw. Unfortunately, 53% of children don’t have a bank account by the age of 15. These kids are missing out on monetary learning opportunities while their still young enough to make healthy financial habits ingrained, setting them up for a lifetime of stability.

Scholarships Pay Off

Additionally, if your growing child is thinking about attending college, but the astronomical fees have you breaking out in a cold sweat, encourage them to apply for as many scholarships as they can to help with college fees. No child should miss out on a college education due to lack of funds, and nor should they be lumped with hundreds of thousands in student debt before they’ve even graduated.

Pay Bills on Time

If you’re serious about turning your finances around permanently, concentrate on turning your credit score around. You can see an uptick in your score in as little as six months by making your payments on or before their due dates of each cycle. If that happens in six months, imagine what your FICO score might look like in a few years.

Work on trying each one of the above-recommended tips at a time. If you’ve tried all these tips and you’re no further along, you’re doing something wrong. Consult a professional financial expert to help you get started on the right path!