It’s an unfortunate reality that we live in: Money and unforeseen expenses are huge parts of our lives. Sometimes things just don’t work anymore. They get old and wear out. Other times someone vandalizes your property. Slashed tires or eggs thrown on your car during Halloween can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.
They also can lead to expenses you don’t have the funds for. We’ll talk about some of the most practical tips for overcoming sudden financial obstacles that happen to you.
What can you do to adjust your attitude and your reactions to bad things? Who can you ask for help when you don’t have the resources to fix a problem in the short term? Let’s discuss all of these things and more so you can turn a bad day into a good one.
Losing Your Job
Sometimes a career change is a good thing. Switching jobs at your own convenience is a gratifying and rewarding experience. It’s not so nice when you are told you have lost your job at a moment’s notice. This happened a lot in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you are solely responsible for your family’s income, getting laid off suddenly is one of the most stressful things you can experience. You wonder whether you will have the money to pay for essentials. You worry you don’t have enough skills to get a decent job immediately in the aftermath of your layoff.
That’s why you need to prepare beforehand with healthy financial savings. If you take some of your salary every month, even $100, and put it in a savings account, you will have something in reserve for a rainy day. This extra cash will give you the resources you need to find a new job and get back on your feet.
We all need our vehicles so we can get to work and get back home. We drive for a myriad of reasons and to a variety of places besides our jobs, too. This means we are putting our vehicles at risk from criminal activity and the natural elements of the weather and seasons.
No matter how much we try to prepare for the inevitable, there are still times we can’t predict our car needing to go into the shop. Say that someone follows you into a parking lot and slashes your tires when you are in the grocery store. Maybe you cut them off on the road by accident. Who knows what really causes angry people to commit crimes?
This is going to make it impossible to drive to work, and it is an unforeseen expense you never think about when you get up in the morning. Fortunately, it is also something you should have insurance for.
Unlike some of the other things we’ve talked about, car and house troubles are less stressful because of the coverage you hopefully are paying for. Fortunately, you can find car insurance with just the VIN of your car.
If you don’t have anything outside of the lawful coverage the state requires, you might find yourself going bankrupt trying to keep up with expenses related to your car. Make sure you pay for comprehensive coverage so things like vandalism and natural disasters are covered by your policy.
School and Kids
Having young kids is the definition of unforeseen expenses. Children come home from school and ask for things they need to go on field trips, join sports teams, and build their next art project. Tax dollars pay for the classrooms, but they don’t seem to pay for anything in the curriculum.
Try to explore some cheaper options for buying things that your child needs in school. Compromising some of the expensive activities they want to participate in is another hard but necessary choice that can be made. If there are three trips to go on, you may only be able to provide the money for two of them.
Make sure you talk to your child about the financial situation you are in that prevents them from going to all of the activities their friends participate in. Having them understand that you can’t always do everything you want in life is a good reality check. It will help them as they get older to understand the monetary struggles you are going through.
Putting Your Pride Aside
Being an adult is all about providing for yourself. You don’t want to be a burden to your family or your friends, especially if your parents paid for a lot of extra expenses when you were younger. This is the type of pride that makes you a self-sustaining adult. It’s also the type of pride that gets in your way when you have a sudden expense that needs to be accounted for.
Don’t feel like it’s embarrassing to ask someone for a small amount of money. Ask your retired father for a little extra money so that his grandchild can join the recreational basketball team. Look for where to get money to cover bankruptcy.
You could think about starting a side hustle. This could be using a skill you have, like writing or doing yard work, to make some extra cash. Think about what you’re good at and whether you can provide a product or service with that skill.
If you frame your purpose as being important, there is no reason to let your ego get in the way of living a decent life. Humans should always want to help one another in a time of need, especially if you are going to someone who really cares about you.
In the end, you can only control your reactions and your responses to the bad things that happen to you. Having a positive attitude and understanding all trouble will pass is one of the most important things you can do in life.
Don’t be afraid to think creatively and put your pride aside so you can survive and thrive in the face of adversity. And when others come to you, make sure you provide the help they need when trouble arises. We’re all one big human family trying to make it out of here in one piece.
Shawn Laib writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. He wants to help people who are struggling with finances to find answers to their problems, especially with motor vehicles.