Personal Finance

Know when it’s time to ask for help

Sometimes in life, a little helping hand can make all the difference. As students, parents, employees or all of the above, life gets hectic and having a house cleaner, lawn service or grocery delivery can really improve your quality of life.

There can be, however, a real mental barrier to making that jump. Many people fear they are somehow inadequate if they can’t do it all, even if they are losing sleep and sanity. Here are some key indicators that your financial situation is in a good place to enable you to call on additional help around the house.

Solid savings position

The number one indicator that you’re ready for some hired support in your home is a really strong savings position. I’m talking zero credit card debt, a well-funded savings account (six months of income is recommended) and a healthy retirement account (at least 6 percent or more). It’s even better if your cars and mortgage are paid down significantly, or altogether. Once people reach this point, there’s often a reported phenomenon where people have financially sacrificed for so long that it becomes difficult to invest or spend freely again. But if your accounts are in really good order, it might be time to take a look at the areas in your life that are causing stress and consider ways to prioritize a solution.

Combined income

With the cost of childcare being so high, for many families it makes sense for one parent to take a break from their career to raise their children when they are very young. These parents often decide to return to the workforce when their children are older or start middle school. If you’ve been used to living on one income for some time, the addition of an entirely new income into the household can certainly justify some additional support around the household (assuming you’re not carrying over credit card debt).

Raise or bonus

Based on my experience, oftentimes when a family experiences the blessing of a raise or bonus, they choose to celebrate with a reward of some kind. A vacation or a pair of designer shoes, for instance. If you’re really feeling strained for time and resources at home, I recommend you consider using your financial boost for services like we’ve described to enhance your overall peace of mind. If it’s a raise, maybe it can be longer-term support. If it’s a bonus, maybe it’s a one-time solution that really makes a difference, like a deep spring cleaning or hiring a lawn service to treat your yard for the year.

If you’re in the situation I describe and are losing sleep, experiencing stress or struggling to keep up with tasks around your home, you may be surprised at how a little help can improve your life. Be sure to ask your friends or colleagues for references so you can be sure to get the best deal.

In closing, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that reaching a financial situation strong enough to justify support like this is very difficult to achieve. If you are financially struggling, I’m in your corner. I love providing weekly tips on how to enjoy life more affordably on any income.

Kat’s Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, visit http://communityamerica.com.

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