How well are you coping with financial stress?

Tough financial times are affecting lots of people in different ways. Maybe you've got college loans coming due and there's no sign of a job. Maybe your colleague was just laid off and you wonder whether you'll be next. Perhaps your spouse's hours have been cut back and you're trimming the budget -- again.

Sometimes the decisions that people have to make are heartbreaking. Beloved pets are being turned in at animal shelters. Adult children are moving in with parents -- and older parents are moving in with adult children -- when no one would choose to be living together. A client told me today that she didn't have enough money to pay for the costumes for her daughters' dance recital, something they had been looking forward to for months. It isn't life-shattering, but for that single mother and her daughters, unless someone is able to help, it's a disappointment they won't forget.

If you're one of many going through tough financial times, be sure to ask yourself: how well am I coping?