A variety of things could tank your financial situation—divorce, bankruptcy, or the loss of a job, to name a few. While you may feel like things will never look up again, that is not the case. Below are five steps that you can take to start rebuilding after an all-time low:
- Beat the Credit Trap
In general, it is not a good idea to add a loan to a bad financial situation, especially if it’s a payday loan that comes with excessive interest. No-interest loans are an exception to this rule. These loans are typically smaller in size, ranging between $300 and $1,500 for things like education or essential goods and services. A no-interest loan can be a great way to set yourself up to rebuild your credit score while helping you attend to your basic needs.
- Create a New Budget
Given that your financial situation has changed, your budget must change as well to reflect your new income. A caveat, it must be realistic to be successful. Go back through your bank account and credit card statements from the previous month and review bills and amounts. If your financial issues did not allow you to pay your bills in the recent past, put your budget efforts on hold briefly. Your first focus should be creating a list of what you owe and to who. You can then create your budget to include your monthly payments to pay your bills as well as the additional amounts needed to catch up on outstanding payments.
- Get Professional Help
If you are struggling to find a path to catch up on outstanding payments, a great resource is a financial planner or advisor. Financial counselors can help you get out of debt and teach you how to create an emergency fund so you can avoid this economic rock bottom in the future. You can find these individuals through such resources as the National Debt Helpline, which is a free service.
- Pursue Emergency Relief
If your new financial situation is dire and you cannot afford to purchase food or pay essential bills, it is time to seek out emergency relief. There are nonprofit organizations that can provide food, clothing, transportation, and other services to help get your financial life back on track.
- Make Time for Self-Care
A very important item in rebuilding your finances is self-care. Your mental health can suffer if your finances do. For example, your new financial situation could cause you to experience feelings of anxiety, worry, increased stress, and depression on a more consistent basis. It is crucial to keep these new emotions in check by investing in self-care. Meditation and deep breathing are excellent ways to restore emotional balance as is exercise. Think through what brings you peace and relief and pursue those things consistently.
Your financial rock bottom is not the end of your story. You can absolutely rebuild and create a better financial future. If you are unsure where to start, seek out the help of a financial counselor. Then, create a new budget which may include payments for those you have missed in the past. If you need an immediate influx of cash for an essential good or service, only consider a no-interest loan or seek out emergency relief. As you rebuild, set aside time for self-care so that your mental health does not suffer alongside your financial health.