By Sara Gilbert
GreenPath Community Engagement Liaison
Most of us contact a mechanic when our car breaks down because we want someone who knows how to get us back on the road as quickly as possible.
I would be the first to admit that I have no idea where to find the carburetor, let alone know if it’s broken or what to do if it is. When it comes to my car, I know that I need help to get problems fixed.
Then why are we less likely to seek the advice of experts when it comes to our money? According the 2014 Financial Literacy Survey conducted for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, almost three-quarters of adults agree that they could benefit from financial advice from a professional.
In the same survey, 41 percent of participants gave themselves a C, D or F on their knowledge of personal finance. Sixty-one percent admitted to not having a budget.
Clearly, Americans could benefit from some reliable financial advice.
Why do we wait to take action on items such as getting financial advice or setting up a budget? Especially when the chips are down and decisions are difficult, taking action can be tough. Doing nothing has its own set of consequences, though, so why wait?
In our counseling sessions at GreenPath, many clients tell us that they waited quite some time before making an appointment to get financial advice. Counselors are trained to offer options and relief to deal with financial concerns.
Sessions are offered at convenient times and are provided for free. Our counselors will tell you that it is much easier to come up with many solutions if a client seeks us before they’re in a financial crisis.
So, what might be causing the long wait to do something about finances that are not working as well as they could be?
First, there is the sense that needing financial, budget or debt advice is a sign of failure. This is not true. As a society, our financial choices have become more complex.
Expert advice is a necessity for numerous life decisions. Take advantage of reputable help whenever you can.
I recently finished a delightful book by Jon Gordon called “The Energy Bus.” In it, he tells a story that shows the importance of a good attitude and willingness to make changes to improve your work or personal life.
The willingness to learn and try something different will take you a long way in reducing stress. Everyone worries about money from time to time. The next time you are feeling financial stress, reach out for some reliable advice from respected financial adviser to get your finances on the road to recovery.
If you need help with your debt or simply have questions around personal finance, call GreenPath at (800) 550-1961 or log on to www.greenpath.org.