What Do You Do When The Money Runs Out?
It’s almost inevitable that at some point, you’ll experience some form of financial disaster, whether it’s because of injury, an unexpected bill or because of unanticipated unemployment. Misfortunes happen. Stocks rise and fall, and sometimes people get hurt in the process.
The key to dealing with financial setbacks is to always have a keen eye on the future. Take the example of Alisa Bowman, the author of Project Happily Ever After. She was approached by an agent who said that the book had enormous potential and that Bowman should do everything she could to publicize it. Thinking that she would make a fortune, Bowman began spending lots of money on advertising her book on the internet and in magazines, all the while believing that she would eventually make the money back. However, the money never came, and Bowman sank further and further into debt and depression. She says that she felt like the biggest loser on the planet.
The problem with this attitude, however, is that it doesn’t actually solve the problem. Bowman’s book remained unsold, and the debts continued to mount. The only way to bounce back from financial adversity is to actually get out into the world and start fighting for your future. But what does that mean in practice?
Change Your Attitude
When it comes to personal finances, many people have that feeling of hitting “rock bottom.” But it’s worth remembering that no matter what’s happening in our bank accounts, that feeling is something we generate ourselves. Brad Klontz is a research professor at Kansas University. He says that these feeling are an opportunity for us to reframe our attitudes and challenge ourselves to grow. Often, he says, it means putting our so-called financial disaster into perspective, recognizing that there’s more to life than numbers in a bank account and that there are always things we can do.
Klotz says that the best part of a financial crisis is learning what you did wrong and not doing it again. The people who succeed are those who identify where they went wrong and what they can do to improve. If you’re struggling to do this, look around your community for counseling and professional help.
Don’t Make Things Worse
According to Peggy Palms, an experienced attorney and real estate broker, it’s key not to make things worse. If you’re out of work because of an injury, don’t just pretend it never happened. Seek out experienced personal injury lawyers who can actually do something about it. Palms says that people tend to go into a strange mode where they think that no help is available and that they have to take on all medical costs themselves.
Palms also says that people should ignore anybody who claims that they can get rid of their debts with a new loan. Most of the time, she says, these are just scams. The problem is that the majority of credit counseling companies (including nonprofits) are backed by credit card companies themselves. This means that they have an incentive to sell you loans, even if these will do little to help your financial situation. Palms recommends that people go to religious or member service provided by a financial institution to get advice instead.