I am a young professional overwhelmed by the harsh reality of financial struggle. Should I look for a financial adviser?

  • mrbanidoso

    Posts: 20

    Dec 12, 2014 6:01 AM GMT
    So I am in my early 20s and just recently moved out on my own.

    I really want to get my life together before I reach 30.

    I learned my lesson the hard way and I am glad I finally caught myself and now, I want to become wiser and mature when handling adult stuff especially the financial side.

    Right now I am very overwhelmed by my credit card bills, utilities, and all sorts of things like maintaining a home in which I am the only one living in it.

    I am overwhelmed with even the smallest tasks and sometimes I find myself lost and cant really determine which task I should work on first.

    I know I am the only one who can help myself. So right now, I am trying to focus on the financial aspect.

    Should I talk to a financial expert/adviser about my concerns? I mean I have a pretty huge amount of debt right now and the sad thing is they are all credit card debts. :C I really should've carefully used them but I cannot do anything now. I have all of these debts and I have very little knowledge on planning my finances and all that.

    What are the qualities I should look from a financial adviser? Do you guys have any recommendation?

    Thank you so much.

    Please don't scold me. I already had enough of that from my parents. I just really want to prove to them that I am responsible still and I know how to correct my mistakes and come out a better person after.

    Thank you again.icon_redface.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2014 7:00 AM GMT
    You need to find a credit counselor and not a financial advisor (at least, not at the present time). The credit counselor will help you understand your credit card debt so it doesn't happen again, as well as come up with a plan on how to pay down on your debt. I would go to www.nfcc.org as your first step.

    Good luck!
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    Dec 12, 2014 7:40 AM GMT
    a finaancial advisor is not going to help stop pissing away money, he/she will just take 4-5% of whatever you "invest" in some half-ass proprietary investment plan

    Just put 10% of your pay check into a no-load S&P500 index fund (50%) and a money market fund (50%) - EVERY PAYCHECK and leave it there (unless something catastrophic happens)
  • mrbanidoso

    Posts: 20

    Dec 12, 2014 7:47 AM GMT
    Erik101 saidYou need to find a credit counselor and not a financial advisor (at least, not at the present time). The credit counselor will help you understand your credit card debt so it doesn't happen again, as well as come up with a plan on how to pay down on your debt. I would go to www.nfcc.org as your first step.

    Good luck!



    Thank you so much!

    I would have never known the difference.

    This may sound stupid but do we pay for that?
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    Dec 12, 2014 1:43 PM GMT
    mrbanidoso said
    Erik101 saidYou need to find a credit counselor and not a financial advisor (at least, not at the present time). The credit counselor will help you understand your credit card debt so it doesn't happen again, as well as come up with a plan on how to pay down on your debt. I would go to www.nfcc.org as your first step.

    Good luck!



    Thank you so much!

    I would have never known the difference.

    This may sound stupid but do we pay for that?


    Most likely they will charge a fee but the inquiry should be free. Look at the fee cost and determine if it's reasonable. If yes, then go for it because it's a small price to help you get control of your consumer debt.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2014 2:08 PM GMT
    OP, as you live in Philadelphia, here's a FREE resource for you:

    http://www.phila.gov/fe/Aboutus/Pages/FAQ.aspx

    Empowerment Centers

    Philadelphia’s network of Financial Empowerment Centers provide FREE high-quality, one-on-one financial counseling with professionally trained counselors to help clients transition from debt management to saving.


    GREAT PROGRAM! You're lucky to have this in Phily.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2014 5:07 PM GMT
    save a nest egg to cover emergencies so you are not tempted to use your credit card. Example an unexpected car repair bill.

    pay all your bills through one source like your bank's online bill pay. so enough business so the account is free. Have separate savings accounts for a vacation fund etc.

    start a journal every month, do a bucket approach; reserve so much for gas, another amount for food, rent etc. you cant go over the bucket limit. Have a plan for money left over, carry it over in the same bucket or put it in a savings account. There is a software application for this but it is difficult to setup, just a journal would work.

    by used items rather than all new. for example you want a PS4 so buy a used one on ebay or craigslist for less.

    try to eat at home, pack a lunch and coffee.

    avoid accumulating a lot of personal belongings.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Dec 12, 2014 5:08 PM GMT
    Well let me make it clear that there are "financial counselors" who help people with debt and structured repayments vs financial planners, advisors, etc, who help invest dollars for a variety of purposes, but it is mainly about the future, saving money and planning.

    I'm a certified financial planner and run my own investment firm. I think if you are serious, I think you can benefit for a whole host of information. You are certainly wise to consider getting your financial house in order early. Things like good credit and debt control are crucial for your future... and learning to save money now on a qualified basis (especially if you work for a company that sponsors a retirement plan) is very important.

    Read whatever you can, but search out counselors and advisors that can give you general ideas, but it is up to you to take the initiative to make it reality.
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    Dec 12, 2014 5:23 PM GMT
    Have you sat down to set a budget? I'm no financial expert, but I actually created for myself a simple spreadsheet for monthly budget to help me see how much I can save each month.

    What's your monthly income?

    Then what's your monthly expense? Mortgage, utilities, dues, etc.

    Then how much do you need for living? Food, gasoline, etc.

    How much do you have left after subtracting your expenses? How much of it can you save and how much can you apply toward your credit card debt?

    Also what's your credit card APR? If your credit is still decent, you can find a new credit card that has 0% APR for the year, and you can consolidate and transfer all your credit card debts with high APR to the new 0% APR card and save on interest. My friend did just that until he paid them off.

    Good luck!
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    Dec 12, 2014 7:14 PM GMT
    polfsky saidHave you sat down to set a budget? I'm no financial expert, but I actually created for myself a simple spreadsheet for monthly budget to help me see how much I can save each month.

    What's your monthly income?

    Then what's your monthly expense? Mortgage, utilities, dues, etc.

    Then how much do you need for living? Food, gasoline, etc.

    How much do you have left after subtracting your expenses? How much of it can you save and how much can you apply toward your credit card debt?

    Also what's your credit card APR? If your credit is still decent, you can find a new credit card that has 0% APR for the year, and you can consolidate and transfer all your credit card debts with high APR to the new 0% APR card and save on interest. My friend did just that until he paid them off.

    Good luck!


    This is the answer ... create a budget that is within your income and then don't exceed it. Make sure your budget is reasonable and includes paying off your credit cards. (If it is impossible for you to cover your monthly expenses and make minimum payments to your credit cards and other debts then you should get your payments adjusted. You could probably do that yourself with your creditors but you'd first have to miss several payments to prove you can't make the minimum payments.)

    The concept is extremely easy ... the difficult part is having the self-discipline to live within your means.
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    Dec 12, 2014 7:33 PM GMT
    Again, as so many people have said before, make yourself a budget.

    If you can not live off of your budget, then find ways to either decrease the budget (i.e. restrict the number of times you eat out), or consider finding a second job.

    Cancel your cable or if you can find a good room mate...a great way to lower cost of rent!

    Consider cutting out alcohol or other luxury items until you are back in the 'black'.

    Lots of people struggle with finance, so you are certainly not alone. Every time you are about to buy something, think if you really 'need' the item, or just 'want' it.