“There’s nothing I can do to make things better.”

Everyone has moments of doubt, and many of us lose hope from time to time. If you are feeling helpless about your finances, don’t give up. Don’t quit. Instead, take a 24-hour time out.

Tomorrow, when you begin anew, start with the big picture and give yourself a check up. Use leading causes of bankruptcy as a guide for your exam. This is not a gimmicky list of things to fix your finances. This is a real exam for how you are doing with the only life you get to live!


1.   How’s your health? Do what you can to improve your health, and take whatever measures you can to live comfortably with chronic health issues.

Exercise, eat right, and avoid bad habits.

2.   Find work that satisfies you, then set reasonable expectations for the income you can expect to earn from it.

Be a good employee. Don’t just get by, do the things that make your boss and your fellow employees happy to see you.

3.   Check your spending habits. Overspending is not only a leading cause of bankruptcy; it’s also a leading cause of unhappiness.

Find healthy and fun activities you can do for free. Read. Make new friends. Volunteer.

4.   Start saving some money. Save a little each time you get paid, and don’t let go of your savings. Financial security is a big, big part of happiness.

Divide your savings into three parts: (a) rainy day fund for emergencies, (b) retirement, and (c) big ticket spending for entertainment, travel, vacation, etc.

5.   Learn something new! Meet new people. There is more to life than smart phones, television and computers.

Get to know your own city. Most people never learn anything about the places they live. This may sound crazy, but have you ever seen the water treatment plant? The waste dump? The market? The train yard? A television studio? A church? Call and make an appointment to tour these kinds of places. You can never know in advance how knowledge of these things will change your life.

Your finances are not likely to be perfect… ever! Your life is about much more than dollars and cents, so live like it.