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Dealing with Financial Stress – Cashola

During the past few years, I engaged in more money talks with acquaintances and relatives than ever before. I learned about incomes being reduced, jobs being cut, savings being depleted, unemployment claims being filed, and all that other interesting stuff. Whether in regular times or extraordinary circumstances, a sudden change in your life, particularly your finances, can bring about a wave of stress and anxiety. However, trust someone who has walked that path multiple times: getting anxious won’t be productive.

Upon receiving distressing financial news, the primary action to take is to stay composed, or at least try your best to. Take a moment to breathe deeply, take a few more, and think about confiding in someone close to you. Whether it’s a partner, a family member, or a dear friend; just verbalizing to someone “I’m facing financial difficulties and I’m afraid” can be comforting.

Once you have regained your composure, it’s time to draft a plan. It’s okay if it’s not immediate; you might want to sleep on it first to ensure you approach it with a clear mind. When you’re in a stable state, begin examining the facts: has your primary source of income been impacted? Do you have reserves to rely on? Can you apply for some form of aid such as unemployment benefits? Are you at risk of losing your home? It may be a daunting checklist to go through, but when your finances have taken a significant hit, you need to take inventory.

Once you have the facts straight, delve into the specifics: are there any expenses you can trim to save money? How much time do you have before you’re in a critical situation? If you lost your job, do you have contacts who could help you find a new one? You must be realistic and work towards solutions, or at least the beginnings of solutions. When your plan is in place, then you can have a brief moment of panic if it helps, but right after that, put that plan into action. Avoid lingering in misery as that will only exacerbate the situation.

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