When unfortunate events occur, they’re usually coupled with financial strain. Whether a natural disaster damaged your house or someone stole your car, many predicaments can leave you to deal with the financial and situational consequences. The important thing is that you don’t get overwhelmed, and we’ll explain how to do that.
Having the weight of financial obligation holding you down can be extremely exhausting and frustrating. It’s difficult to manage something so important to your well being, but aggravation isn’t the only result. Like most kinds of stress, people can experience physical side-effects of financial stress. Individuals feeling the pressure of financial troubles can experience many physical and emotional effects, including:
- Difficulty sleeping
- High blood pressure
- Weaker immune system
Don’t drown in negative thoughts. Be confident that things will work out, and try to stay calm. Common ways to release stress include exercising and talking to other people who might be suffering from the same problems. Shared empathy can really make the experience feel much more manageable. If you try a bunch of different things but nothing works, consider seeing a therapist to talk out your troubles.
Set Your Goals
Every situation is going to affect your finances in different ways. For example, if a hurricane did major damage to your roof, quick home repair will be the priority. If you’re the cause of a car accident, your insurance rate may go up, which could cause more long-term financial problems.
Regardless of your individual situation, sit down and think about which financial consequences need to be addressed first, second, third, etc. For example, if you’re fired from a job, you’ll have to consider how that temporary loss of income will affect you and your family’s spending.
Sometimes the main situation can lead to other problems that aren’t necessarily money related. If someone stole your car, you’ll be worried about the finances related to that, but you’ll also have to find a new way to work and a way to pick your kids up from school. Little things like this can build up if you don’t take some time to prioritize and start forming a plan.
Determine the Solution
Once you know your priorities, you’re ready to spend time contemplating the solutions to each individual problem. Think carefully about which decision you will end up making — acting rashly can lead to further consequences later. Here are some examples of options you have:
- Credit cards: This is the classic way to spend now and pay later. Just make sure it’s not too much and that you’d actually be able to pay it back in a reasonable amount of time.
- Home equity line of credit: This is especially useful if you need to make major, unexpected renovations to your house. The good thing about this type of credit is that you don’t actually have to use it — you can take it out and have it there in case something comes up.
- Government aid: In certain circumstances, like if you’re laid off from your job, the government will help you financially (like getting unemployment benefits).
- 401(k) savings: You won’t be taxed for borrowing this money, but you’ll have to pay it back in a timely manner, or else the money remaining will be considered income and will be taxed.
If you decide to go with a loan or some other type of credit-related choice, make sure you’re not going in over your head. Sometimes getting money right away isn’t worth how much you’ll owe and how low your credit score will be as a result of not being able to make your payments.
Before making a decision, make sure to consult with your spouse, family, or other trusted love ones to see what they think. They may be able to offer you help or provide advice you hadn’t considered before. Ultimately, though, you need to do what’s best for you.