A crisis is defined as a time of intense trouble, misfortune, or danger. A financial emergency can come at any age, to any demographic, in any area. A crisis can come out of nowhere; bank accounts hacked, sudden car troubles, an unforeseen medical expense. Or, they can occur after a series of poor choices and mistakes that culminate in a state of emergency. There are ways to manage and work through a financial crisis; a crisis doesn’t have to be the end of your world.
Start by calming down. Decisions made under stress or suddenly can be more harmful than helpful. Take notice of what feelings are linked to your crisis. Do you feel panicked, out-of-control, or full of anticipation? Are you scared, sad, or angry? Your feelings are valid, but do not let them control your decisions. After making yourself aware of what your feeling, try to spend some time calming down. Some individuals find a lot of peace in meditation or prayer. Others find themselves calmer after deep breathing and perspective. Whatever works best for you, lean into the process of calming down.
Move to analyzing what your expenses are. Start by breaking it down into two categories, fixed and fluctuating expenses. Fixed expenses are an expense that happens regularly. Things like bills, subscriptions, and set budgets for groceries happen weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Fluctuating expenses are expenses that change and vary every month. Shopping, furnishing, eating out are all examples of expenses that change and morph over time.
Next, decide what your wants and needs are. Needs are expenses that you need to pay to function normally. Wants are expenses that you don’t have to fulfill every month. For example, a fixed-needed cost is a payment like a mortgage or rent. A fixed-want is something like a Netflix or Amazon subscription.
From there, try cutting out or cutting down on the things that you want. Minimizing what you pay for is not a fix-all treatment. But it is a start to help ease you out of your financial crisis.