ACCC Helps Consumers Navigate Awkward Financial Situations

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National nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling offers advice on how to handle five awkward money situations

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“It is important to be honest with yourself when it comes to money and if you can afford something. If you can’t, be open with your friends and family and explain the situation and don’t feel ashamed.

Conversations about money can be extremely awkward. Consumers face a variety of challenging money-related situations that can be damaging to relationships with friends and family. National nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) explains how consumers can navigate awkward financial situations.

“Whether it’s friends not paying you back or family asking you for a loan, we all have experienced some sort of awkward money situation,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “It is important to be honest with yourself when it comes to money and if you can afford something. If you can’t, be open with your friends and family and explain the situation and don’t feel ashamed.”

According to the United States Census Bureau, the median household income in 2018 was $61,937 – an almost one percent increase from 2017. In comparison, Maryland has the highest household income at $83,242 and Mississippi is among the lowest at $44,717.

ACCC offers advice on how to handle five awkward money situations.

1. You haven’t been paid back – It’s not uncommon for consumers to front the cost of something – such as a hotel or concert tickets – for their friends or family. Or maybe a colleague forgot their wallet and they need to borrow money for lunch. It’s been weeks with no signs of pay back. It is important that to remind friends or colleagues to repay, whether it’s with cash or through Venmo. If they think their friend or colleague can’t afford it at that moment, give them more time if it’s needed.

2. Pressure to donate to a charity – Friends, family, and even places like the grocery store can create awkward situations where there’s pressure to donate to different types of charities. If you find yourself in a place where you don’t want to look cheap but either don’t want to donate or can’t afford it. It is okay to decline for now and say you’d love to get further information and will think about the organization or cause for future donations.

3. Managing increasingly expensive activities – Jumping the gun and agreeing to an activity that turns into a longer and more expensive event with friends that sometimes they need to bow out. It is important to speak up in the beginning stages of planning if they don’t think they can afford to attend.

4. The costly bridal party – The costs associated with being part of a bridal party can add up very quickly. If you know you will be in a friend’s bridal party once they get engaged, take this opportunity to start saving immediately. If it’s an unaffordable proposition, then it is important to be upfront with their friend as soon as possible so they can work out a solution.

5. Questions about salary – Situations that involve a co-worker asking how much money you make. This can be an extremely uncomfortable situation. There are a variety of ways to handle this situation, whether through humor or being upfront and simply responding honestly with “I’d rather not share that information.”

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  • For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
  • For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  • For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  • Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com

About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. In order to help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit http://www.consumercredit.com/financial-education.aspx

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Marissa Sullivan
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