Our financial situation has a lot to do with our personal preparedness. Survival and preparedness isn’t only about buying things, like supplies and storage food. That’s an important part of it. But to truly focus on survival, you need to prioritize key areas in your personal life, including finances.
Survival doesn’t have to be all “gloom and doom.” I’ve tried here to emphasize turning negatives into positives wherever possible. A helpful piece in a newsletter by Mary Hunt of Debt Proof Living gives helpful insights I’d like to share. I’ll add in a couple of my own thoughts as well. She offered five ways to escape financial “gloom and doom.”.
- Take charge of your thoughts. Hunt says to choose your thoughts by carefully monitoring what you put into your mind. Turn off the news and focus on other things.
- Launch into austerity. If you got word your job would be eliminated in a few months, you’d start saving and cut back on unnecessary spending. Start putting money into an emergency fund now. Rework your resume. Stay calm. Get the whole family involved in making these changes.
- Pay off debt. Come up with a plan now. Don’t wait for credit card rules to change. I like the advice of another financial counselor who says pay down smallest debts first. As you get rid of them, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and will feel better about paying down those larger bills.
- Keep a balanced perspective. Here are a couple of points to consider. While unemployment is high, it’s not yet as bad as in the Great Depression–at least, not according to official numbers. No one has yet lost money in an FDIC insured bank account, as opposed to money lost in risky investments. I’d add that, if you’ve lost money in a retirement account, don’t lose heart. You did what you thought was the right thing.
- Love the job you’re in. Become the best employee you can. Make yourself indispensable. Do more than is expected. Arrive first each day and be among the last to leave. Change your entitlement attitude regarding benefits. Become a giver, not a taker.
Her insights are down to earth. She’s written several books, including Debt Proof Living, which you can get by going to her site’s bookstore. Then look for Mary’s books.
There’s no time like the present to get your financial house in order. It’s never too late to start.