1. Do you eagerly anticipate payday and silently cuss when the ATM displays an ‘out of order’ sign just as you’re about to withdraw your hard-earned money?
2. Do you maximize your credit card’s limit and then pay only the minimum amount required?
3. Do you dip at your emergency fund every time you max out your credit card or empty out the ATM?
4. Do you count the chicks before the eggs are hatched? In other words, you tend to spend more than you earn.
5. Is ‘kiting’ a habitual practice? Meaning, your cheques are drawn from insufficient funds to cover up previously issued cheques.
If you answered ‘YES’ to all of the above, then chances are, you are broke. No need to be embarrassed. In fact, this situation may actually bring out the best in you if you handle it correctly.
1. For starters, you have shown humility by sheer admission of your financial flaws. As such, there is hope in getting out of your current situation. Being broke should not define who you are. It is just a result of bad spending habits and lack of discipline, both which you can correct. It takes courage to confront your demons and take the necessary steps towards improving your financial condition.
2. Experience is the best teacher. You may come out wise and unscathed if you do something about it.
3. You have all the opportunities to turn your finances around with just the click of a mouse – the internet is great source if you know how to explore; a vast place to quell your curiosity and increase your knowledge. Reading this in Brighter Life means you’re on the right track!
4. Self-control is the key. What items were bought just because you drooled over the merchandise on display? Reflect upon it and you may realize you can do without them after all. Identify needs from wants so you can prevent impulse buying.
5. Necessity is the mother of invention. In this case, the necessity pertains to the need to get out of the state of being broke. Such force will drive you to go out of your comfort zone and think out of the box in finding ways to address your financial issues.
6. Let your creative juices overflow. Discover your passion and turn this passion into profitable ventures.
It all boils down to your own determination to resolve the crisis you’re in.
But, if after doing everything, you’re still stuck in a rut, there’s no need to despair. There’s a handyman you can call to help you repair the leaks – none other than a financial advisor!
Janet Locsin-Lim is a Sun Life Financial Advisor. She worked as an accountant for 20 years before joining Sun Life. She has three kids. Writing is her passion and she considers her fledgling career now with Sun Life as the biggest challenge of her life.