How to Prepare for a Short-Term Financial BindWeather. Red lights. Height.

What do these three things have in common? They are all examples of things we have no control over. We can’t control whether it’s going to be 85 degrees and sunny or cloudy and rainy. There’s nothing we can do about hitting every red light on the way home from work. Height (or lack thereof) is just something you’re born with.

While a short-term financial crisis is also something we can’t control, its effect is a little more severe than a rainy day or getting stuck at a few red lights.

When I say short-term financial crisis, I’m not referencing someone who spends their entire pay check at the casino and is out of money until they get paid again. In that instance, it’s obviously the individual’s fault. I’m talking more so about people who lose their job through no fault of their own, such as being laid off.

When this happens, an entire family can be impacted. If you’re given only a short notice that you’ll be laid off, this situation can create a lot of stress. The key here is to plan ahead. Don’t let a short-term financial obstacle put you behind.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of suddenly being out of a job and having no source of income, following these steps beforehand will allow you to breathe easy until you find something else:

1.  Create a budget

Figure out exactly how much you spend per month on everything. This includes food (fast food, take out, groceries), gas, cable, internet, hobbies. For at least one month, keep track of EVERYTHING you spend money on. That way, if you ever find yourself in a financial bind, you’ll know exactly where you can cut back on spending.

2. Save up

Not for your next vacation, either. It’s important to build a money reserve you can turn to in case you’re ever in need. You’ll want to stay away from touching your retirement and any other account that you’ll incur a financial loss.

3. Stock up

Anything from canned goods and groceries that won’t spoil in the near future will do. Growing your own food out of a garden is another possibility. This goes along with creating a budget in that you’ll want to stay away from eating out and spending money that could be better used.

4. Attitude

A positive attitude will go a long way. Whether it’s in your current job or while you’re in the middle of a financial bind, a positive attitude can help you out in many ways. Remaining positive will also help any family members you have that are in the same struggle you’re facing.

Losing a job suddenly or getting injured and facing big bills are something out of our control. We can, however, control how we handle such situations. Follow the above steps and you’ll be better off in the long run.


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