Judge me all you want, but I sometimes watch the “Real Housewives” TV shows on Bravo. I have only watched a few episodes of the Beverly Hills series, but enough to know who all of the key players were. Something always seemed a little off about Russell Armstrong, the husband of one of the women starring in the show.
On Aug. 15, he was found dead from suicide. It turns out that he had filed for bankruptcy, was involved in several financial scandals and was facing many legal issues, including ones relating to domestic abuse. He and his wife were in the process of divorcing. He had also expressed that he was experiencing massive stress from having his life showcased on reality TV. More of his troubles keep coming to light. He must of felt like things just couldn’t ever get better.
Then things got weird. A day later, one of Russell Armstrong’s friends and colleagues, Alan Schram, was also found dead from suicide. Neither left a note. It is being reported that both were members of a “high-net-worth investors” club, Tiger 21. Of course nobody will ever know what led these men to end their lives, but evidence shows that they were both were having major financial issues that may have contributed to their decision to end their lives.
I wrote an article for CreditCards.com in September 2008 about the link between debt and depression, and even suicide in severe cases. This was during the worst of the recession, when foreclosures were skyrocketing. People were being laid off, going bankrupt and losing their homes. Some people felt that the only way to free themselves from their financial troubles was to commit suicide.
No matter how upset or depressed you are with your financial situation, there is always a way for things to get better. If you have to file bankruptcy, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure; it can be a great tool to get you back on your feet. If you’re feeling in over your head with debt collectors, there are countless nonprofit debt counseling companies that can help you assess your debts and come up with a pay-off plan you can afford. Be sure to read my article to get advice on coping if you’re having financial troubles or how to recognize suicidal behavior and help a loved one.
As always, here is my list of 10 of the best personal finance blog posts published in the past week.
1. One of life’s many pains is keeping track of bills and statements. Wisebread offers some handy tips on organizing your financial paperwork and creating an efficient system.
2. I recently wrote about the plethora of deal sites out there, tempting me every day to buy discounted things I don’t actually need. Femme Frugality shares several sites that allow you to resell deal purchases you regret.
3. The Digerati Life provides easy solutions for five common problems caused by disorganization, all of which can cause financial issues.
4. Financial Highway lists five mistakes that nearly everyone makes when it comes to credit cards and what you can do to course-correct.
5. Not sure what happens to your credit when you get married? The Wisdom Journal shares which credit-related things merge when you marry and which don’t.
6. Frugal Dad reveals four ways you can find your financial motivation and meet your money goals.
7. Life is tough for many people all over the world right now due to unemployment, foreclosures and other unpleasant situations. Money Ning discusses three ways you can find gratitude and perspective to get you through trying times.
8. Generation X Finance provides a list of 10 great ways to simplify your finances, from setting up online bill pay to creating a basic budget.
9. Money Crashers explains what secured credit cards are and lists the pros and cons of using them to build or rebuild credit.
10. Dough Roller reveals how it’s possible to prevent identity theft and avoid becoming a victim of this common crime.