Illustration by Jake Turcotte / The Christian Science Monitor
2. Orange: On the cusp
Bills and debts are piling up and there’s not enough income to keep them from growing. Debt payments consume more than 40 percent of your income. Even before the recession began in 2007, nearly 15 percent of US families were in these straits, according to the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress.
“Debt is one of the problems that if you ignore, it won’t go away,” says Mr. Connolly, who is also a bankruptcy and financial lawyer in Boston.
Be prepared to take action before bills go unpaid or paid off on more credit. Even though you’re not in the red zone yet, bankruptcy is still a potential solution to give you a fresh start.