By Laura Lifshitz
It is very hard to stare down financial hardships and see a light at the end of the tunnel, unless you make a plan. Truly, having no financial plan in general, is dangerous. Even if you are scraping by for now and can’t be strategic, you can take these financial challenges you are dealing with, and turn them into life goals that will help serve you. Here are a few ways you can turn your financial hardships into something fruitful!
Do you have a bad credit score or maybe a lot of credit debt? This is a common issue after divorce. Perhaps your ex racked up debt or you racked up some yourself. Whatever the case is, take credit issues as a journey towards smarter spending.
Some tips I have learned from the advisors I met through Savvy Ladies:
Pay off small debts so you can start to feel “successful” like you are achieving your goal towards less credit debt.
Pay off higher interest rate credits.
Plan a budget for the year and allocate (if possible) extra funds so you are paying more than the minimum payment.
Only use it in emergencies unless you are strapped and need it for groceries or medical.
Use your credit debt as a way to view the rest of your spending. Are you really using your credit cards only when necessary? If you’re not, most likely you’re not making smart choices across the board. If you need to consolidate your credit you can also use this a time to readjust your payments and spending overall.
READ ALSO: How Learning to Ask For Help Made Me Stronger
If you are being underpaid and it’s impacting your budget, now is the time to consider next steps.
Do you apply for a new job?
Do you negotiate a raise?
Do you need to take classes? Update your resume?
Is it time to think about changing job fields?
Truly, sometimes you need to think about the big picture. Your future. What works best for the family. Where you see the most stability, etc.
Okay, medical bills are a pain in the you-know-what, especially with health insurance today! How do you manage these bills and turn it into a life goal of sorts?
Pay what you can as long as it’s monthly and make sure you’ve got a monthly budget written out!
Ask for forgiveness, especially towards the end of the year, if it is possible.
Assess your health insurance. If you buy privately, is it time to change plans? If you get it through your employer and it’s not the best plan, is it time to search around for a job with a more competitive plan? For people with health issues, it very well may be!
Medical bills aren’t building interest—so that’s a plus! If you are battling medical bills, see this as just another unfortunate life circumstance you will get past. Many of us face or have faced this issue.
I recommend maybe having this inspire you to also make wellness goal and try to live the healthiest life you can.
– Are you meditating or taking yoga? If no, why not?
– Are you exercising?
– What are your eating choices really like?
Scraping by Monthly
If you are scraping by each month, why?
Take a look at your yearly salary. How are you budgeting it? What things can you drop from your life? What things must you keep paying and budgeting for? When you do this, you’ll be surprised at how suddenly, those things that you thought you needed, you don’t anymore! It can be really freeing to want and “need” less.
Financial hardships can be crippling, but you can also take these situations and:
Reassess your job and career path. Are you moving up as you should? Are you in the best position for you?
Reassess your spending. Do you really need X, Y and Z? Do they really benefit you?
Reassess how you are saving. Are you budgeting to save at all? How will you retire? If it’s truly not possible to save, skip for the future.
Taking a hard look at getting out of debt or getting money saved can be intimidating but it can also be empowering. You must have a plan in order to go into battle. Having goals will help you move forward in your career and secure you for the future. An intimate look at your finances can help you feel prepared for what’s to come!
About the Author
Laura Lifshitz is a Freelance Writer, Content Creator, Comedienne, & Obsessive Chocoholic