Long gone are the days when a single-income family could thrive in middle America.
Many people struggle to make ends meet when life is normal, and an event such as a job loss, divorce or medical emergency can derail a family’s financial future. The top three money sinks are also the most essential budget items.
For most Americans, housing is the most significant line item of their budgets. Many people hoping to buy their first or second home are struggling to qualify for mortgage loans as the U.S. housing prices continue to climb. Additionally, renters are having trouble keeping up with their month-to-month payments as rent increases across the country. A few key reasons for the current housing crisis include:
- Low inventory of available existing homes for sale or rent
- Slowed permit process for new construction
- Decreased workforce in construction and agricultural industries
Single-parent households or dual-income families rely on childcare providers to take care of young children during shifts. Reliable child care is expensive, and according to a recent survey, parents spend ten percent or more of their annual income on daycare.
Even with employer-subsidized insurance, a family of four may pay as much as ten percent of their monthly income on health coverage. Additionally, nearly one-fourth of Americans carry medical debt that they are struggling to pay off.
Bankruptcy serves as a lifeline for those circling the drain. The stress that comes with money troubles can destroy a family, but having the courage to hit the reset button provides much-needed relief and the space to start again.