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Feeling financially out of control begins with life occurrences. My life experiences have brought me to where I am today. When I was in my teens and 20s, I worked full time and then some. I invested into my employers 401k, and I tried to save money and pay ahead on bills whenever possible. My husband and I didn’t make copious amounts of income in my 20s, but everything was going as it should financially. I made sound decisions, and I felt like I could go anywhere.
My 30s came around and my second daughter was diagnosed with autism. We couldn’t hire a sitter or daycare because no one was willing to take care of her due to speech delays and sensory issues. I went from part-time work to flex work to being out of work entirely for a couple of months. Eventually, I found an at home sitter who became my lifeline for many years, but tragedy struck again when my husband’s father passed away. We had to use a credit card to pay funeral arrangements and all other expenses for our travel and packaging of his home. Everything ran us close to 15K dollars.
Fast forward to my 40s when my oldest daughter had a spinal fusion surgery that had me working from home during her recovery of six months and another two months of physical therapy. We’ve had many other financial setbacks, the ones I’ve discussed are just some of the big ones. My husband and I are still working to get back to a better place in our lives financially. Feeling financially out of control doesn’t have to be a norm. Here are some of the ways I’ve learned to cope with feeling financially out of control.
Coping with Feeling Out of Control Financially
Understand that you can’t control everything. I used to try to be in control of every aspect of my life until I realized that it wasn’t possible. I stop myself when I know that I am feeling overwhelmed with trying to control business and family habits. It might take me a moment, but I find other ways to approach what is happening at that moment in my life. Sometimes I have to walk away or block out time for me, so I don’t feel immediately stressed. Find methods that work for you in your daily activities.
Use a budget and give yourself options. First of all, use a budget if you don’t already. Be sure to budget in all of your monthly expenses including groceries and gas. If you’re struggling with monthly debt, you need to make sure that you can eat and drive where you need to. If your budget is lacking, you need to figure out some financial options to make up the difference. I’ve sold items on Etsy, had yard sales, took on part-time and seasonal jobs, cut down on eating out, and carpooled. When things went from bad to worse my husband, and I sold vehicles to pay off other debt.
Give yourself a goal that is achievable. Maybe you lost a job, had a medical setback, or had a family issue that was out of your control. It is easy to feel stress and anxiety so take a moment before looking at your finances. I know that my stress levels always go through the roof when I feel like there’s no way out of significant debt. When you determine budget options that work for you give yourself an achievable goal to start getting back on track. Stress can get worse if you give yourself unreasonable expectations.
Take time to think your situation through without procrastinating or feeling conquered. The faster you set a strategy, the quicker you start feeling in control of your finances. Give yourself a reasonable goal. The financial options you choose for yourself may take a little time to accomplish like finding a new job or changing lifestyle habits to fit your new income. Some reachable goals take longer than others.