Part of being an adult is being responsible in facing finances – and for many of us, that isn’t easy. There is much discussion about how people, specifically millennials, don’t know how to be financially savvy. You can probably think of some examples yourself, but the level of ire aimed at people – and not even particularly young people – for not buying a house or investing long-term can be genuinely extreme at times.
It’s tempting to fire back at people making those criticisms, and there’s plenty of reason to do so. Forty or fifty years ago, it wasn’t that big deal for someone with just one income to buy their home, and shortly after that, they could be mortgage-free. That’s a pipe dream because real estate prices have risen at a rate that far outstrips salaries. It’s hard to be financially responsible because the cards are stacked against you. And yet, it is essential to at least try. The following are some reasons why.
Debt still needs to be serviced.
One way or another, accrued debt needs to be dealt with. It is easy to get into a situation where you feel burned out, as interest and fees are added to accounts beyond your control. Debt taken out while you had a secure wage can be impossible to manage when you suddenly find yourself without a job.
The truth is that you at least need to present the creditors with the facts as they are. Telling them you can’t pay the total amount gives them a chance to make a counteroffer. But, on the other hand, not telling them anything and not settling will continually worsen.
Arrangements are reasonable, but understand what they entail.
The word “bankruptcy” used to be viewed with much more concern than it is today. Even now that we understand it has a place, it is essential not to see it as a great cure-all. A bankruptcy lawyer will take you through the process of when it is a good idea and when it isn’t.
It would be a mistake to view bankruptcy as a Get Out Of Jail Free card. It would be best if, instead, you made radical changes to how you approach your finances. Because you will struggle to get credit, you will need to find a way to live within your primary means.
Ask whether you need the supposed “essentials.”
The essentials in life are a roof over your head, food to eat, and water to drink. Advertising will tell you that this isn’t the case. It will tell you that you need more. If we go back to the earlier point about the expectations placed on millennials, we can all think of an article or two about millennials “killing” this or that industry.
These articles are driven by anger at people realizing they don’t need half of the things that have made many CEOs wealthy. You’re not killing anything – that responsibility lies at the door of people who have made prices rise while wages don’t follow the same pattern. Live as comfortable a life as you can afford to; the rest is irrelevant.