With Thanksgiving just around the corner, many of us turn to thoughts of what we are thankful for in our lives. Even when times are very tough, there are things we can be grateful for - our friends, family or whatever helps you in your life.
If your personal finances are one of the things that you find difficult right now, look for ways to change things around. There is a lot of help available for those who are serious about improving their financial lives - something to be very thankful for.
Start by asking your family and friends for their help or recommendations to help you improve your situation. Look for professional help to give you a clear road-map to solving your problem. Professional help doesn't necessarily have to cost you anything. For example, if your problem is finding a job, there are some great programs offered by the Baltimore County Office of Workforce Development. If your problem is poor credit or too much debt, work with a financial counselor. My credit union, Destinations CU, offers free unlimited financial counseling to members. Consumer Credit Counseling Service has no up-front costs.
Shop around for the best financial services for you. It's no secret that I am a huge advocate of credit unions. The reason: they are not-for-profit and are owned by the people who do business with them. They can usually offer better pricing for services and many have overcome the traditional barriers to using one (inconvenient location, for example). Whoever you choose, make sure you can trust them to have your best interests at heart.
Look for personal finance tips online. There are a lot of great blogs that deal with personal finance and people are tweeting #personalfinance all the time.
Work at your problems every day and look for things you can be thankful for. Recently, a friend of mine posted the following on Facebook: "A dear dear friend of mine recently said 'We need to start celebrating the everyday victories... there are a lot more than we realize.'" (Thanks Sam - and your friend - for voicing this!)
Parkville Lifer and Director of Marketing for Destinations Credit Union