Even though you thought you were prepared, financial disaster struck. You were wiped out…all your money gone…your plans put on hold, perhaps indefinitely. What are you supposed to do now? How do you survive a financial disaster and start over again? Your finances may not be that bad, but economic woes are commonplace nowadays.
Who says you won’t be the next one to wake up and discover your bank account says zero? Chin up. There are ways to bounce back. Following are a few tips on how to survive a financial disaster.
It’s Only Money
Although this may not be what you want to hear, remember, it is only money. Sickness, accidents, storms, natural disasters, the death of a love one, these are all things that matter a whole lot more than money.
Sure, money can help you live better, and we all need it to survive, but suffering a financial setback isn’t nearly as bad as suffering a physically debilitating trauma.
Even though losing a considerable portion of your financial worth, or all of it, is not necessarily life threatening, it could have a significant impact on your life. Depending on your personality and outlook on life, it could be a minor delay in your life’s plan or a disaster you’ll never recover from.
The choice is really up to you. Some people decide to simply give up, while others prefer to make lemonade instead. Whichever course you choose, you’re bound to ride an emotional rollercoaster until you sort matters out.
Time for Action
Now that the philosophising is over, it’s time to get down to doing something about your financial troubles, and get onto practical ways to survive a financial disaster. The first step is to accept what’s happened and take a close look at your financial situation.
Upon further reflection, it may not be as bad as you thought. Even if it is an unmitigated disaster there are still things that can be done to help you recover.
Make a Plan
Take stock of your present situation. Reflect on what got you into the financial mess you’re currently in and make a conscience decision to not make the same mistakes. If you’ve drastically overspent then you know you’ll have to be a lot more careful in your spending. If you lost a bundle in the stock market, don’t think you’ll strike it rich by putting whatever you have left into a ‘sure thing.’
It’s like gambling–you may as well go to a casino and bet everything on black. No, if you hope to recover it’s imperative that you assess your situation and come up with a viable plan that involves hard work and intelligent decisions, not a stroke of good fortune.
Assemble Your Assets
In order to survive a financial disaster, you must implement a plan to bounce back from an economic disaster it’s important to know what you have to work with. Make a list of your assets. This is what you’ll be using to begin your financial recovery.
It’s essential that you know where you stand. If you owe a lot of money, such as credit cards or loans, that must be factored in. if you ever hope to regain a good credit rating it’s imperative that you pay off your debts.
Determine Where You’re Going
A financial recovery plan must begin with an awareness of your starting point. There’s no sense lying to yourself; it won’t solve anything. Instead make peace with your situation and be honest in evaluating a possible recovery. Only after doing that can you take the next step, which is to decide where you would like to end up. Again it’s important to be honest with yourself.
Choose a realistic goal, one that isn’t necessarily easy to attain, but a target that is truly obtainable. Going from dead broke to multimillionaire status overnight is something that is likely to only happen in a movie. Instead aim for a reasonable objective. Don’t stop dreaming, but be sensible.
In setting a goal, it may be prudent to use the S.M.A.R.T. principle: Be Specific in choosing a goal. Decide on a way to Measure your progress. Make sure your goal is Attainable. Be Realistic in selecting a destination. Plan your recovery to happen in a Timely manner.
Executing your carefully planned recovery is where you’ll need to be firm in your commitment, but not so firm that you can’t fine-tune how you will survive a financial disaster along the way. There are bound to be unexpected hurdles to overcome, but if you stick to your basic plan, you should ultimately reach your goal of financial recovery.
This is the Land of Opportunity. If you believe it, you can achieve it. Never give up. The English language is full of platitudes, but even though they may sound trite, through hard work and dedication it is possible to recover from a financial disaster.