Let’s set a scenario: You’re going about your life and, for once, everything seems to be going smoothly. You’re doing well at work, your finances are under control, you’re generally healthy and content with the family and friends you have. Then suddenly, something unexpected and devastating happens. Maybe you lose your job, maybe an expensive medical emergency occurs for you or a loved one. And slowly, everything seems to hit you all at once and you feel like you have lost control.
Perhaps this was an exaggeration, but sometimes life throws you curveballs out of nowhere, many of which are out of your hands. Often, these major life events such as sudden job loss, medical emergencies or the death of a loved one can cause a lot of emotional stress. In addition, these moments might even cause prolonged financial hardships.
However, there are some concrete steps you can take to ensure you handle the curveballs and problems that life throws at you (though this might seem easier said than done). Nationwide Debt Reduction Services has some things you can do to fight back when life happens.
Take the Time You Need
Before you do anything, give yourself time to process the situation that you are in. It is completely okay and necessary to take a break, to take time to step back and think about what you are going through. Often, people might push you to think of next steps, to “move on” past a problem, but it is best to ignore them and think of what YOU need in that moment. Taking care of yourself should always be a priority.
Ask for Help
In a time of confusion and stress, it can be very difficult to reach out to someone for help. However, it is necessary. Take the first step to reach out to someone close to you who can recommend resources that can help you. Taking action, no matter how small, can help you in the long run. In addition, you should seek out support from professionals or reliable organizations that can help you. Here are some specific ways you can get help and support:
Unemployment Benefits, Health Insurance, Training Programs
If you are dealing with job loss, the first thing you will need to consider is filing for unemployment. Check your state’s requirements for unemployment eligibility and learn how to apply for unemployment. In Texas, to qualify for unemployment benefits, you will need to have worked in Texas during the past 12-18 months, have at least a minimum amount of wages that fall within Texas guidelines and must looking for work each week you request benefits.
In addition, if your previous job offered a health benefits package, you will need to consider your health insurance options following the job loss. Get in touch with your former employer’s human resources department and ask them about health insurance options. In addition, understand your rights under COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act), which is a law written to continue group health benefits for certain employees who deal with major life events such as job loss, reduction in hours, divorce etc.
Lastly, think of taking up free classes, training programs or workshops that can help create new skills. Start by looking at the Department of Labor’s and American Job Center’s training programs. In addition, look into your nearest community college and see if there are affordable courses you can take or workshops you can attend!
Support Groups, Therapy, Healthy Investments
Leaning on friends and loved ones for support during a difficult time can be good but seeking professional help or support groups are also great options. Seek out therapists near you and consider the qualities that you think might make a good therapist. Ask for a free phone consultation to gauge whether you want to go with the therapist or not and be honest about any financial concerns you have, because it is important to consider affordability. Making healthy investments, for your physical and mental health, can have a positive impact long-term.
Professionals Can Help with Financial Troubles Too
You don’t have to bear financial burdens yourself, no matter what has caused them. If you find your financial troubles increasingly overwhelming, there is no harm in reaching out to professionals who can help you understand credit, debt, bankruptcy etc.
How Long Will Your Financial Resources Last?
If you have lost your job or a stream of income, evaluate how long your current financial resources will last. If you can, try not to deplete your savings or increase your debt. Do your best to create a budget plan that ensures the resources you have last longer. Here are some ways you can try saving up:
Limit Eating Out
Eating out, even if it’s a $5 coffee adds up quickly. Limit your expenses on eating out and cook at home instead. It is healthier too!
If there are some unused subscriptions that are eating away at your wallet, get rid of them. Make sure anything you are subscribed to is something you use.
Don’t Pay for Apps
Don’t pay for any smartphone apps. They are usually not worth it.
Go to Thrift Stores
You might have to sift through a few more racks, but shopping at thrift stores is cheaper than buying new clothes—it is also more environmentally responsible. Try some well-known thrift stores such as Buffalo Exchange, Upscale Cheapskate and Plato’s Closet.
Don’t Blame Yourself—Come Up with Strategies Instead
Often life throws us curveballs that we aren’t responsible for. They are not caused by our doing, they don’t occur because it is our fault. They happen because unfortunately, that is the way life operates. Don’t get stuck in blaming yourself as that can be a step backward—instead, focus on how you can feel better and how you can make it through each day. There are some effective strategies and mechanisms you can come up with to fight your battles daily:
Whether it’s a messy list on a piece of paper or detailed planner, a to-do list is a great way to prioritize tasks, manage your time and maintain a productive and healthy day. There are few things as satisfying as crossing a task off a to-do list.
If you’re having a particularly nasty day full of tough situations, you might get overwhelmed quickly. Try to take breaks often to ensure you get the “me time” you deserve. Your break can include watching an episode of your favorite show, talking to a loved one, spending time with a pet, going outside or going to the gym. Just make sure that even for just an hour a day, you get to do what you love.
Have a Back Up Plan
Life does not stop with one unexpected curveball—it throws a couple sporadically or at the same time. Having a back up plan or an emergency plan in place can lessen the blow of an unexpected problem. For example, if you make the decision to start saving up diligently or create a rainy-day fund, you can have a better cushion when dealing with financial troubles.
Call NDRS When Life Happens!
You don’t have to go through life’s difficulties alone—get in touch with Nationwide Debt Reduction Services for help when dealing with bankruptcy, settling your debt and other financial troubles that might be worrying you. For more information, check out this guide on how NDRS can help you in making the payments you need to, starting with a free debt consultation. To get started, call us today at 888-987-1325 or send us a message on our website!