When economic strife hits do these 9 must-do steps to squash your money problems. There is no way in predicting tragic storms, destructive earthquakes, virus pandemics, a house fire, sudden death of a loved one, or unemployment. If we could tell our money ‘a tornado is coming, hang on tight’, life would be so much easier. In fact, we can tell our money to do that, but what if we weren’t ready this go around?
First things first
First and foremost, remember these times of despair are just that, a time. It’s not forever, it’s not the end of the world; it’s just a season that is visiting for a while. It may seem like an eternity but it will pass like all our other seasons. The hard part is getting through it without much pain. Right?
Your 1st priority
Your first priority is to take care of yourself and your family. If it’s a spreading sickness, do everything in your power to protect you and your family from getting sick. Did a storm hit your house? Then get your family to safer shelter. If you lost your job, then start looking for a replacement job, even it pays less than the work you had before, just get something going so you have a little income.
When the overall shock has faded, this is usually about 3-7 days depending on the severity, you can start working on these 9 must-do steps to get your life back on track and to put your money problems behind you.
1. Clean up the unnecessary subscriptions
Get rid of unnecessary subscriptions: magazines, gyms (unless you’re using it more than once week), weight loss programs (check out My Wellness Way instead), and might I even say cable TV? Look at the numbers and the amount of time you use these things. Is it worth it?
2. Work on your budget
Work on your budget. This is real people. Money problems happen when a budget is not in place. A budget can help you find the holes and to see what holes need to be filled. Think of a budget as a treasure hunt. It doesn’t need to be restrictive, tedious, or confusing. Use this easy to fill-in excel worksheet to help you get organized. Go to Freebies to get yours.
If you want something beefier that has printable reports I highly recommend Quicken. We use it.
Scale down and only focus on your necessities. This may be hard but look at it with a survival perspective. What can I, or we as a family, live without for two months?
These types of tragedies will happen again, be prepared next time. Emergency fund, mental preparedness, essentials in the home, but don’t hoard (enough for two weeks) and reduce debt. Here’s another post about budgeting to checkout. #1 Cause of Money Problems, plus 4 tools to solve it
3. Make extra money
Wipe your money problems away by making extra money. Grocery-store job, shop for others, delivery food, checkout other delivery services like Amazon, UPS, FedEx, food processing jobs, gas station attendant, fast food industry.
Heads-up: Many other blog posts say to start a blog, I do not recommend this. You’ll be spending more money on starting it than making any money on it. They are only telling you to start a blog to sell their blog building tools or to exercise their affiliate programs. Building a profitable blog takes time and money, it’s not impossible, but it is a lot of hard work, especially starting from scratch.
Simply look at what businesses are booming in tough times and then go there and inquire about opportunities. For instance, some call centers for services I mentioned above, or health care.
4. DIY (Do It Yourself)
Do things yourself. Ideas in this arena include selling your crafts and creations on Etsy, cleaning your own house, mowing your own yard, and for minor fixes around the home hopping on YouTube to find ways to fix things yourself. Doing things yourself brings a ton of gratification and confidence too!
5. Cut Costs
This can be kind of fun to figure out where you can cut back yet still be content. Things to try and look at are to tone down the number of hair salon visits, color your own hair, try the natural look for nails and forgo the polish…your nails need a breather anyway, wash your own car, shop at a lower-priced grocery store, be mindful of your utilities: shower or bathe once a day instead of two, turn off the lights when not using that room, turn the thermostat down one or two notches, ‘when it’s yellow let it mellow when it’s brown flush it down’, turn the water off while scrubbing those pearly whites. Things like that.
6. Sell stuff
Sell stuff through Facebook Marketplace. This is a great time to declutter your home and really ask yourself if you need certain things. Selling your things is a lot easier these days too. If you don’t want to hassle with a garage sale, sell things online. I have done well using both methods, and I feel so much lighter! In my last garage sale, I squashed a money problem using my profits. It felt so good!
7. Be smart
Make smarter buying decisions on the necessities. Okay, this toilet paper thing baffles me, unless you have an underlying condition like Crohn’s, colitis, or cancer, cool your jets on the TP. Simply take what you need for two weeks then manage the toilet paper you have in the house. Another idea is to get some cotton handkerchiefs and use those in a pinch. And guess what? You can wash them and use them again! Genius.
8. Whoa-back on large money deals
It’s human to be uneasy during times like these, but only allow yourself a day to ‘freak out’. After that, get your battle face on and make adjustments. However, the one caveat to making change is to not make any major financial decisions in the first 7-14 days. For instance, don’t cash in your 401K or buy a new car/house, or rank up your credit cards. Put your mind to work and figure out some ways how to adjust in ways that help you and not hurt.
9. Emergency fund
When all is back up to speed, start to build your emergency fund for the next time something like that sucker-punches again. One way to do this is to put a little bit away every paycheck. Some people do 10%, others 5%, and so forth. You will be amazed at how quickly this adds up, especially if you put it in a savings account that accumulates interest.
I believe in you. You totally got this. Just remember your first priority is to take care of yourself and your family, what that looks like is up to you. However, please keep your cool around your kids. There is no sense in getting them stressed out and confused. It’s okay to share with them some small details about money problems so they learn how to manage, but don’t tell them your real fears.
One last thing: ask God for help and protection, He’ll guide you through it if you’re willing to listen. Hugs to you.
By CT Copyright © 2020 Simplify Firefly All Rights Reserved.