If you’re looking for a home you better make sure your finances are in order. But how do you do that?
Usually it’s pretty easy to tell whether or not you’re getting sick. You start to feel achy, your nose starts to run, your throat hurts, and the next day you start coughing and boom, the day after that you find out you have a cold.
We’ve grown accustomed to learning the warning signs and knowing when we need to do something about them. But it’s not as easy to tell whether or not your finances are in good shape.
According to the USA Today, there is one way to gain some insight in to your finances.
Established in 2004, the Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation (PFEEF) developed its Personal Financial Wellness (PFW) scale to help Americans keep their finances in check.
PEW is an eight-question survey that measures a person’s perception of his or her own financial distress or well-being, according to the article.
Nearly one in three Americans responding to the PFEEF’s most recent survey were in the worst state of financial distress by scoring less than a 5. Some 44% of survey respondents reported having an average amount of financial distress by scoring a 5 or 6, and about one in four (24%) report having little financial distress after scoring a 7 to a 10.
The average score from the last survey was a 5.2.
According to Judith Cohart, the president of the PFEEF, the survey was designed to be a wakeup call of sorts for Americans who are in serious debt.
“You need to pay attention to how you spend your money,” Cohart said. “You don’t need to buy a cup of coffee or buy lunch every day.”
Help! What Do I Do If I’m in Financial Trouble?
First, track your monthly income along with your expenses to make sure you can afford what you’re currently spending your money on.
Second, create a budget.
Third, make a schedule to pay down your debt.
Fourth, establish an emergency fund because you just never know what will happen.
Mint.com or the smart phone app by the same name can help you do all of that in one convenient place.
The EconomicCheckUp is another great tool geared toward seniors. It asks a series of questions to help older Americans identify benefits and services that could cut expenses, save them money and get trained for and find a job.