Many of us will suffer financial difficulty or hardship at one stage or another in our lives. Whether it’s overuse of credit, too many bills arriving at once, ill-health, losing a job, or an unusual turn of events, the reality is a financial crisis can happen to anyone.
Research into the financial habits of adult Australians, conducted by McGregor Marketing Research (1988), found that a large number of us are struggling to manage our finances:
- one in five, 20% admit to having no particular budgeting strategy;
- one in four, 28%, say they make impulse purchases outside their normal budget;
- one in five, 22%, make a large number of shopping trips that cost more than intended;
- one in eleven, 9%, have no money set aside if several bills were to arrive at once, and would need to strike up a payment plan with one or more of the companies concerned to pay off the debt; and
- one in six, 17%, are forced to spend on unexpected bills during any given month eg. motor vehicle repairs, breakages and urgent replacement of household goods.
Modern Causes of Debt
These sorts of money problems are spread throughout the community. Financial problems are found in all types of households, irrespective of people’s age, sex, marital status, occupation or income. It’s not just a problem for the unemployed!
A large proportion of us are simply unprepared to handle a financial crisis. Some don’t have the skills to manage their money prudently. Others ignore the warning signs and fall into a debt trap. Whatever the causes, the consequences can be devastating.
This section helps you to deal with a financial crisis. It provides practical information to enable you to take control of your finances and be better prepared for the unexpected. It also contains information on who you can turn to for help in sorting out your money problems.
As many people say, prevention is better than a cure. We can refer you to a Financial Planner for expert advice on managing your superannuation, saving for your retirement or investing your redundancy payout. They will help you to make sensible long-term financial decisions. However, if you are already finding it difficult to cope with day to day financial pressures, you should consult a Financial Counsellor who is trained to help you resolve current money problems and put you back in control of your finances.