The pandemic, related isolation and general upheaval over the past year have been challenging for many people. The negative effects of depression or even just the blues brought on by recent events can show up in all kinds of areas—including finances.
If you, a close friend or family member have fallen behind on regular money tasks, it can lead to dire consequences if not acknowledged in time. These are some possible signs of financial problems to be aware of in your own life, or with a loved one:
1. Missed bill payments
Feeling overwhelmed may lead a person to fall behind on regular bills. Over time, that can affect credit scores, trigger late fees and even interrupt services from credit card providers or utilities.
2. Lapsed insurance policies
Homeowners, auto, life and other types of insurance require consistent payments to maintain coverage. Missing just a few payments can lead to a potentially disastrous lapse in coverage—if an accident or illness occurs—as well as higher premiums when the policies are reinstated.
3. Unopened mail
Many of us will be reuniting with family members after months apart. Loved ones won't always admit when they need help. Seeing piles of mail in the home can be a sign that they're avoiding their bills.
4. Calls from collection agencies
If a loved one is receiving calls from bill collectors, their financial problems may be mounting.
5. Skipping regular investments
Emotionally challenging times could lead someone to miss making an annual IRA contribution, for example. While less alarming, there are consequences, given that investing in the market regularly is one of the easiest ways to build wealth.