Monthly Archives: September 2017

What to Do When a Financial Crisis Hits

    It can happen to anyone. Things are great and then without warning you’re laid off, get sick, or find yourself facing a steep repair bill. Suddenly you’re wondering how you’re going to pay all your bills. With the economy still shaky and Congress’s bickering causing serious budget cuts, believe me you’re not alone. Here’s some advice on how to cope.

Stay calm. It’s natural to feel panic and even anger, but neither of those things will help. Try to stay calm and proactive, and think positive.

Check your savings account. If you’re fortunate enough to have one, calculate how long it will keep you a float. If you don’t have one, don’t feel bad. These days it’s difficult if not downright impossible for many people to save because once the bills are paid, there’s nothing left over.

Step away from the credit cards. It’s tempting and may even seem logical-you’ve got healthy credit limits on your cards, why not use them to keep you afloat until the crisis is over? The answer? Because you’ll only be adding to your debt, and if your situation is that bad, how will you make your monthly payments? Don’t get yourself into an even deeper hole.

HUF.  When you’re facing financial difficulties, put HUF first. That is, Home (rent or mortgage), Utilities (Electric, Heating, etc) and Food. Those are the three things what money you have should go to first. What’s left over should go toward necessary things like renter’s insurance and gas for your car. Paying your credit cards should be your lowest priority in a crisis. If you’ve been a good customer up until now, but find you can’t pay, call the company and explain. Most have programs in place that can help you, either by lowering your monthly minimum payment or suspending interest.

Look into a loan. The first place you should try is family and friends. If they are unable to help, see if your bank offers unsecured loans. Avoid payday loans; they will end up costing you far more than what you borrowed. If you have a car, look at online title loans.

Budget. Take a good hard look at what you spend each month and see if there are things that can be eliminated.

Stay positive. It’s easy to get depressed when facing financial problems or feel ashamed, but remember, you’re not alone and chances are your situation was caused by things completely out of your control. This too shall pass!