Personal Finance

A Checklist for When You’re in a Rough Financial Spot

  • Mark Edwards ·
  • June 27, 2024

While good financial planning is important, and making sure you have a robust amount of savings is a good priority to keep, none of us can predict what our finances will look like forever – even if we’re moving in a good direction. Perhaps we’ll come into a massive inheritance, or, more likely, we’ll need to plan for unforeseen expenses well in advance of them happening.

Maybe you wish to help your elderly relative gain the care they need, placing them in an expensive, but worthwhile residential community. Maybe an unfortunate medical bill comes your way. Or, perhaps you just suffer bad luck in your investments. No matter the reason, it’s important to know that building yourself back up is always possible.

In this post, we’ll give you a minor checklist for when you’re in a rough financial spot. This way, you can easily plan your return back to financial health and hygiene.

  • How Recurring Is This Expense?

For one-off costs, you could look at short-term solutions like dipping into savings or setting up a payment plan. If it’s recurring, you might see if you can cancel or postpone the payments by negotiating with your creditor.

  • What Are My Priority Bills?

Ultimately, priority bills have to be paid, and that means if you’re being chased by a creditor, finding the support you need through charity help or going through your expenses with them can be important. But accommodation, utilities (within reason), and food are non-negotiable.

  • Am I Entitled To Any Help?

There are many excellent debt charities and entitlement schemes out there that could potentially assist you. In some cases, you may go to a third party, as some people will as part of a $200 loan for a quick topping up of their bills before the salary comes in.

  • Can I Rely On A Support Network?

Help from family or friends doesn’t always have to be financial, it could just be getting lifts to work after you sell a car. But reaching out to ask for help now and again can give you the space needed to feel more present and capable, and avoid catastrophizing the situation.

  • What Expenses Can I Limit?

To offset the difficult cost you’re experiencing, limiting your expenses can be a helpful step forward. This approach also grants you a sense of autonomy, for example, if you quit your gym membership and run instead, only watch free TV, and limit expensive grocery orders, you might be able to swallow an unexpected cost more easily. It will also mean adding any income streams will have so much more of an effect until you can reliably rest on your income measures.

With this advice, you’ll be certain to think methodically when in a rough financial spot. It takes time to get there, but you can certainly get through this period. Just make sure to learn from the process, and prepare in advance to prevent such an issue from occurring the same way again. Also don’t feel inferior for the effort, many people (even affluent individuals) have money issues, and you can always bounce back.