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Common Financial Problems

Common Financial Problems: 

How Financially Healthy Are You? Financial problems, like many medical problems are best detected early.  Here is the list of some widespread and most common personal financial problems:

Not Planning. Human beings were born to put off things. And that is why we have deadlines – and deadline extensions. Unfortunately, you may have no precise deadline with your overall finances. You can allow your credit card debt to accumulate, or you can leave your savings sitting in lousy investments for years. You can pay high taxes, leave gaps in your retirement and insurance coverage, and overpay for financial products. Certainly, planning your finances is not as much fun as planning a vacation, but doing the former can help you take more of the latter.

Overspending. The average Canadian saves less than 5 percent of his or her after-tax income. Simple arithmetic helps you determine that savings is the difference between what you earn and what you spend. To increase your saving, you either should spend less, work more, or know some wealthy people who want to leave everything to you (the last alternative is the least realistic). 

Buying with consumer credit. Even with the benefit of today’s lower interest rates, carrying a balance month–to-month on your credit card or buying a car on credit means that even more of your future earnings are going to be earmarked for debt repayment. Buying on credit encourages you to spend more than you can really afford. 

Delaying saving for retirement. Most people say that they want to retire by the mid-60s or sooner. But in order to accomplish this goal, most people need to save a reasonable chunk (roughly 10 percent) of their income, starting sooner rather than later. The longer you wait to start saving for retirement, the harder it will be to reach your goal. And you will pay much more in taxes to boot if you don’t take advantage of the tax benefits of investing through particular retirement plans.

Falling prey to financial sales pitches. Great deals that can’t wait for a little reflection or a second opinion are often disasters waiting to happen. A sucker may be born every minute, but a slick salesperson is born every second! Steer clear of those who pressure you to make decisions, promise you high investment returns, and lack of proper training and experience to help you.

Making decisions based on emotions.  You are most vulnerable to making the wrong financial moves after a major life change such as: a family loss, divorce, or when you feel under pressure. Maybe a recent divorce has you fearing that you won’t be able to afford to retire when you planned, so you pour thousands of dollars in some newfangled financial product. Take your time and put your emotions aside.

Exposing yourself to catastrophic risk. You’re vulnerable if you and your family don’t have insurance to pay for financially devastating losses. People without a savings reserve and support network can end up homeless. Many people lack sufficient insurance coverage to replace their income. Don’t wait for a tragedy to strike to find out whether you have the right insurance coverage.

Focusing too much on money. Placing too much emphasis on making and saving money can warp your perspective on what’s important in life. Money is not the first or even the second priority in happy people’s lives. Your health, relationships with family and friends, career satisfaction and fulfilling interests should be more important.

Most financial problems can be fixed over time with changes in your behavior.


Here are a few of my favorite past articles from my Lethbridge real estate and mortgage blog you might have missed or wish to recommend them to a friend.

Common Financial Problems - Avoid these financial mistakes
Get Your Credit Score UP - Invaluable insight into your credit score
Mortgage Guidelines Get Tighter - Harder and harder to borrow money
Is Your Mortgage Company Out of Business in 2009? - What to do when your bank goes broke
What is wrong with MLS - Is your info being abused?
Survivor - Real Estate Edition - Let's vote a few more off the island



Robert May is a Realtor, as well as the broker and owner of Rainbow Realty of Lethbridge Alberta. He is also a licensed mortgage associate and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta. He has been in the real estate industry since 1993 and offers full MLS real estate services to Lethbridge and surrounding area, as well as mortgage financing, refinancing/renewals, preapprovals, and home equity financing to Lethbridge and Southern Alberta. He can be found online at

Let me share my 15 years experience in the local Lethbridge real estate and financing market with you! It is the first step towards making a profitable real estate decision.

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Robert W May is a Real Estate Broker in Lethbridge Alberta, having now been in the industry for over 23 years. . He was also a licensed Lethbridge mortgage broker and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta for the past 10 years.  He is an industry leader always willing to help train and educate others in how to improve their business models for financial and personal benefit.



Comment balloon 6 commentsRobert May • January 30 2009 01:29PM


Touche, Robert! Great post with great info, as always.  Have a super weekend!

Posted by Rick Sergison (Keller Williams Real Estate Associates in the Toronto Area) over 9 years ago

Robert....great set of guidelines that we should all try to implement!!

Posted by Sergio Rebollo Jr. (Real Estate TeamMates) over 9 years ago

Thankyou very much for the comments guys.  As always it is greatly appreciated.  Have a great weeknd.

Posted by Robert May, Real estate consulting (Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate) over 9 years ago

this is a really fantastic list, probably, the over spending that is such a part , or was such a part, of our american culture is the biggest problem

Posted by James Wexler ( over 9 years ago

Unfortunately, overspending is what this economy is based on.  With people cutting back now, we see what regular spending can actually do.  I am all for prudent spending personally, but with the overcapacity endemic in our system, overspending is the only way to support it, and that is why we are having problems now.

Posted by Brian Griffis (Realty Choice) over 9 years ago

it is going to take more spending unfortunately to get things back to moving.  Maybe if people were weaned off of spending instead of having it end cold turkey like it did.

Posted by Robert May, Real estate consulting (Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate) over 9 years ago

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