One of the number one reasons I decided to start this blog, was to help others make better financial decisions when it comes to money. But I also want to help readers who don’t know where to start. I have wanted to write this post for a very long time, and I feel that now is the right time.
I know many of us have faced financial hardships in our lives. But not all of us have faced the experience of having no money. It’s scary and overwhelming. There have been instances where my now husband and I had to reach out for financial help, and it was very hard for us to do.
I want everyone to know that needing financial help is not something you need to be ashamed of. Honestly, if you find yourself in a financial hardship, it’s most likely due to a lack of knowledge and it will be okay. Just remember that as you read through this post. Here I am going to walk you through what you should do if you run into a situation of not having any money or not having enough money.
If you find that you are unable to pay your bills, purchase groceries, or just literally have no money available to you, the first step is not to panic. It is important to remember you are not alone, and this is not an unsolvable problem. Just take a few minutes, or really however long you need, and collect your thoughts and emotions. Remind yourself it is going to be okay.
The second thing you need to do is accept responsibility for your actions and acknowledge the circumstances you now find yourself in. This is not intended to make yourself feel bad, but is instead intended to allow you to say Okay, I’ve messed up. What do I need to do to fix it? It is also extremely important to identify the cause of the problem so that you can try and prevent it this from happening in the future. Now I am not saying every instance is your fault. Personally, our hardship started occurring because we both took out too much in student loans. These decisions didn’t catch up to us for several years, so I had to decide to not continue to make the same decisions. Sometimes, that is what this step is for, not making the same decisions.
The next thing you need to do is forgive yourself. Odds are, the situation you are in now is due to the poor financial decisions you have made at some point in your life. It’s okay. Just don’t keep making those same decisions, and allow yourself to let go of the guilt, stress, and anxiety you may be feeling because of this situation. We all make mistakes and this does not have to be a mistake you feel ashamed of.
Identify How Much Money You Need
Now that you are calm and in a clear state of mind, it is time to develop a plan of action. You will want to write down all of the things you are not going to be able to pay and how much money you are short. This is really important because in order to fix your problem, you need to first identify what needs to be corrected.
Inform Your Bill Collectors
I strongly encourage you to contact the people responsible for handling these payments and let them know your payment will be late. Many times they will grant you an extension or ask you if you could make a partial payment. Just do what you need to do in order to avoid late fees and put yourself in a more difficult position.
Come Up With A Plan
Now that you have notified everyone who needs to be notified, it is time to come up with a plan. This is where you will be figure out how to make the money you need, and determining when you will be able to pay everything that is overdue.
Locate Emergency Help Centers
There is a lot of negativity when people think about seeking out financial help. I want you to know that emergency help centers exist to help those who need it. They are not intended to be a permanent solution, but are intended to serve as a means to help keep your utilities on, a roof over your head, and food in your belly. Start researching local services that are offered in your area. Chances are, you will find several food pantries, and agencies that offer free emergency funding assistance.
I want you to know, that I have sought out financial help when we desperately needed. I have accepted food from a local food pantry, and called agencies and organizations that assist with providing emergency funding for utility payments. You do not need to be ashamed if you find yourself also needing to do this. My husband and I are okay now, because we asked for help at a time when we desperately needed it. This is why this help exists and I want you to feel strong enough to take advantage of it when you need it, and to give back when you don’t.
Find Extra Income
Now that you have a plan of attack, it is time to put your plan to the test. There are no excuses if you want to overcome your financial setbacks. You must do what needs to be done. Find a part-time job, start a side hustle such as surveys, mystery shopping, selling on Ebay, etc. DO NOT take out a loan!!! This will potentially set you further back financially and cost you a lot of money in interest and fees. Again DO NOT take out a loan to pay your expenses!
Pay Your Debts
Now that you have obtained the money you need, it is time to pay what you owe. You pay what you owe, because you need to set a standard for yourself that you are financially responsible and you are never going to allow this to happen again.
Make a Budget
If you have not done this already, it is time to make your budget. If you need help with this, check out my post “How to Create a Budget That Works For You”. A budget is going to be your # 1 tool to help you be more aware of your money, and to help you make better financial decisions based on your budget.
Develop a Prevention Plan
You do not want to be in this situation again! I understand that! Even if times get tough, you can persevere and keep pushing forward. You can develop a prevention plan to help set yourself up for the financial future you want and the financial future you deserve! Even if you are not experiencing financial hardship currently, you need to take steps to prevent this from happening in the future.
I hope this post has inspired you to know that it is okay if you are struggling financially. I want you to remember, that you are not a failure, and that you can overcome this. I want to help you make better financial decisions and build the life you dream about!
Share below the ways you are working to improve your financial future and to build the life you dream about! Also don’t forget to share and like on social media so we can help even more people!