If you follow me on Instagram you would know that two things happened to me over the past fortnight:
- My cat, Flossy, came down with a mystery illness resulting in tears and vet trips. Note: she is okay and back to her devil-like self, attacking me at a moment’s notice.
- My garage door motor-unit-system-thing required replacing.
What do these two things have in common? They drained my bank account pretty f$$king fast. Lucky Christmas isn’t coming up! Oh, wait…….
It got me thinking, we all have ‘financial emergencies’ dumped on us at some point so what can we do when we experience these financial setbacks?
1 | Pause and be grateful
On the scale of shitty problems to have, ‘financial emergencies’ are a pretty freaking good one. Compare it to an I-have-just-been-in-a-car-accident emergency, a my-child-just-got-diagnosed-with-cancer emergency, an I-live-in-war-torn-Syria emergency or an I-don’t-know-where-my-next-meal-is-coming-from emergency. Your problems aren’t looking so bad now hey?
2 | Initiate Operation: Action
The emergency is here, ready or not, so pop your adult pants on for a minute and figure out how you are going to make this work financially. For me, I had to redraw off my personal loan (which diverted my goal of paying it off by February 2018). Lucky I have a variable rate personal loan with $2000 of additional payments banked up.
3 | Bring your spending back to basics
I am talking B-A-S-I-C-S. When I hit a financial hurdle, I strip my spending right back. For me, this means that Netflix is my ‘socialising’ and a combination of Weetbix and 2-minute noodles serves as my ‘diet’ (sorry healthy eating). I am a weirdo though so I love financially restricting myself as I get more done around the house, am forced to tackle the things I have been avoiding and get really creative with the very small amount of things in my pantry (pizza sauce and rice anyone?). It isn’t always easy but try and find the glass half full.
4 | Have yo $h*t together
Where is your budget? Are you tracking when your bills are due? Are you actively using your budget? I find that when my shit is together and I mean together I can handle surprises and emergencies far better. Think about it, when you have all of these balls in the air and another ball gets tossed in it just adds to chaos BUT if all of your balls are neatly lined up your hands are free to catch the incoming ‘emergency ball’ and focus on only that ball.
5 | Future plan
I have mentioned this before but I will keep on saying it – GET YOUR EMERGENCY FUND IN PLACE and do not touch it. I have a direct debit set up to go into my ‘Emergency Fund’ account every week but stupid me kept drawing that money out for fun-Carly. Build your emergency fund up and do not even think of touching it unless there is an EMERGENCY. Poor emergency-Carly was sitting in the vet clinic staring at an ‘Emergency Fund’ with $100. Not that useful.
We all have financial setbacks, emergencies and hurdles. All we can do is prepare ourselves as best we can for when they hit AND try to handle them as best we can when they do hit.
As always, thank you so so much for reading,
Ps. Stop stalling, go set up your Emergency Fund (and don’t forget to spread some kindness today).