by Texas Homesteader ~
Tips To Survive A Financial Hardship.
What do you do when unforeseen circumstances cause you financial hardship? All at once there’s too many expenses & not enough money to pay the bills. I’m reflecting on our own financial journey and steps that helped us take back our financial freedom to make ends meet.
Unexpected Financial Hardship
I know several people who are struggling financially right now. Many are struggling due to circumstances completely unforeseen & out of their control.
Maybe they find themselves with a large unexpected medical bill. Or maybe they’re laid off, either temporarily or permanently. And BOOM!
Financial adjustments must be made sooner rather than later.
Family Financial Needs Differ
Of course families are varied and the journey to a more secure financial future might be different based on each family’s circumstances.
Family units vary such as:
Parents with very young children or teens
Extended family members living together
Some families must work extended hours or deal with long commutes while others may be stay-at-home parents or are disabled.
But there are some aspects of financial wellness that often remain the same no matter where you are in life.
Isn’t it true that by just cutting waste, your finances are much more positively aligned.
I certainly found that to be the case when we were adjusting our finances due to shortfalls.
When RancherMan & I were pouring over our finances trying to see if we could make the leap from cushy secure corporate-career employment with regularly-scheduled paychecks and bonuses to make-your-own-way self employment, it was a scary time indeed.
So believe me when I say I understand how at first the prospect of financial insecurity seems completely overwhelming.
But if you take a deep breath and look at things with a new more-frugal perspective you can keep a clearer head. You stand a better chance to react positively.
And surprise of surprises, many times the result ends up being not nearly as bad as you had feared. Stay with me now…
Lifestyle Adjusts To Match Income?
I’ve discovered that we often just naturally live according to the income we receive.
When there was a hearty salary jump it increased our monthly income, yet we never really saw it. Perhaps it just got gobbled up in extra fast food, shopping trips and/or convenience items.
I have no idea, the extra financial cushion just vanished. There was more money coming in, but no more money left at the end of the month. Have you noticed that as well?
But I was pleasantly surprised to discover likewise when income was slashed that the same principle materializes. We simply lived according to our reduced income. And although adjustments had to be made I never really noticed a severe hardship because of it.
So the lesson here is that often people automatically adjust at least somewhat to their income. But if you can grab the bull by the horns and make adjustments now, your transition will be made much easier.
Helpful Financial Tips For Saving Money
Here are some articles I’ve previously shared about dealing with crunched finances:
* How To Make It Without A Corporate Paycheck – If you’re looking for ideas of ways to cut back expenses check out that post. A few of these ideas take advance planning. But many can be incorporated right now.
In our case since I was moving to self-employment, I was able to act on a great many money-saving features. That’s because of our lifestyle changes I found myself with more time than money.
* Grow a Veggie Garden – Our garden provides us with healthy nutrition for pennies on the dollar. And it offers me some mood-lifting sunshine and exercise as well.
As a matter of fact, I’ve written before about how Gardening Can Be Life Changing.
* Learn to Preserve From Your Garden – This includes freezing, dehydrating or canning. That garden goodness can be preserved and enjoyed weeks or even months later.
* Reduce Non-Food Needs In Your Kitchen – Quit buying things that were meant to be thrown away. Come up with ways to make do (very well) with reusable options from materials you already have.
Eliminate paper products – paper towels, napkins and plates.
Use rags for cleaning
Repurpose glass jars for food storage
Use cloth napkins. (I even made cute red/white gingham cloth napkins from a $1 garage-sale tablecloth!)
* Save On Television – See how RancherMan & I have survived comfortably without cable while still enjoying plenty of TV entertainment.
* Earning Money FAST In An Emergency – Tips for raising a little cash fast when an emergency comes up.
Beware Of ‘Boredom Shopping’
There are other important changes that will help stretch your dollars. Be aware of shopping for shopping’s sake.
And before you plunk down your cash on that item ask yourself if you really need it or do you already have something at home that would work just as well?
If it’s a necessity ask yourself if you can buy it cheaper elsewhere? Price checking almost always saves money!
For us thrift stores are a great place for sturdy work jeans and various housewares.
Doing It Yourself Saves Money
It’s helpful to review things that either are not necessity or services you pay others to do for you.
Things such as convenience foods, haircuts, lawn services, etc. Figure out how many of those things you can provide for yourself instead.
You may be very pleasantly surprised at how easy it is. And you’ll probably also be surprised at how inexpensive the alternative is.
And more importantly, you may begin to feel very empowered by taking these matters into your own hands.
New Skills Carry Forward Too!
So don’t fret. And don’t hide from a financial downfall. Meet those financial challenges head-on. Yes you’ll have to tighten your belt. But you’ll probably find it wasn’t as bad as you’d feared.
So you’ll give up ordering that home-delivered pizza or learn to cook healthier meals from scratch.
Maybe you’ll learn to cut leftover-food waste or to be creative making delicious meals with less expensive ingredients.
It will all work out in the end, and you may have even learned a new skill.
I’d like to offer this comfort: RancherMan & I have been there several times & things always worked out just fine.
So take a deep breath and look at this as an opportunity to improve your finances. It’ll benefit you now when your budget is crunched, but the lessons you learn now will serve you years down the road as well.
Links In This Post:
- How To Make It Without A Corporate Paycheck
- Low-Cost Veggie Gardening
- Edible Landscaping
- Landscaping On The Cheap
- Preserving The Harvest
- Making Cloth Napkins For Only $1
- Reducing Waste In Your Kitchen
- Cook-once Eat-Twice Method Of Cooking
- MYO Flavored Mayonnaise
- Easy Taco Seasoning Mix
- Homemade Yogurt – Stove Top Method
- Easy Ways To Reduce Electrical Waste
- FREE Passive Solar Principles
- MYO Powdered Laundry Detergent
- What Do YOU Use To Clean?
- Save On Television Entertainment
- Tightening Our Belt Tighter
- Closing The Loop In Charitable Giving: Thrift Stores
Other Frugal Tips
- Tips For Surviving Sudden Financial Hardship
- Build Financial Security With Less Effort
- Simplify Your Estate – Document These Numbers NOW!
- Thriving Financially Without A Corporate Paycheck
- Easy Ways To Earn Money Fast In An Emergency
- Is Food Past The Expiration Date Safe To Eat?
- Things I No Longer Buy At The Store To Save Money
- Top 10 Self Sufficiency Posts
- 12 Easy Tips To Save Money On Groceries
- Easiest Self-Sufficiency Steps To Take NOW
- Repurposing Empty Coffee Canisters
…and many MORE!
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