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These are uncertain times. Jobs aren’t as dependable as they once were, and a serious illness can devastate your finances.
Even people who are well prepared can make mistakes or encounter misfortunes that ruin their finances. It can happen to the best of us.
If it does, it helps to remember: This is not the end; it’s the beginning of something new. People bounce back from disaster all the time.
In this video, Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson interviewed a woman who survived a serious financial setback and is doing well again. Check it out, then read on for eight tips that can help people regain their financial footing.
1. Accentuate the positive
Corny? Maybe a little. But make no mistake: Keeping your attitude upbeat really works. So does staying in the present. You’ll want to learn from your mistakes, but rehashing them endlessly keeps you from moving on.
In the same way, worrying about the future robs you of time and energy.
2. Seize control
Learning precisely where you stand in a crisis is painful. But there’s also relief in knowing what you’re up against. You can’t dig out until you know how deep your hole is.
- Get a grip by tracking your expenses.
- List all the bills you have to pay — rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance, groceries, car payment, gas and whatever else you need to cover to keep going. Add them up. This is the basic amount you need each month. Put your wants aside for the moment.
- Make a stripped-down spending plan including, for now, only those crucial bills.
3. Get professional help
Pride has its uses, but paralyzing you isn’t one of them. If you hit obstacles you can’t get around, don’t waste time being stuck. Reach out to people with the expertise you need. A trustworthy credit counselor, for instance, can negotiate lower rates and a debt repayment plan with your creditors, taking bill collectors and pressure off your back.
Find accredited credit counselors. Their advice is free, and debt repayment plans should not cost more than $50. Get any agreement in writing before paying a cent. Don’t hand over money before you’ve received services.