WORK-LIFE BALANCE / DEC. 13, 2014
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How to Overcome Financial Disappointment

You can create a plan for your money, or make plans to reach a financial milestone by a certain point in your life. But sometimes, things don’t go according to plan; and depending on how bad things become, you may deal with financial disappointment.

This can happen for a variety of reasons. You can lose your job, make a terrible financial choice, or circumstances beyond your control can wipe out your savings account. Understand, however, that most people are no stranger to financial disappointment. It might be a major setback, but you can recover.

1. Grieve and get your emotions out

With any disappointing situation, a grieving period is normal and understandable. Some people may tell you “not” to feel a certain way. However, grieving and being upset over a loss contributes to the healing process. So go ahead — yell, scream, cry and do whatever else it takes for an emotional release. Keeping your feelings bottled up inside may slow the recovery and prevent a comeback.

2. Don’t isolate yourself

It doesn’t matter if you’re responsible for your own financial downfall or if circumstances occurred beyond your control, avoid the tendency to isolate yourself from friends and family. You may prefer not to be around others, but isolation can make you feel worse. Friends and family can be a strong support. They can offer advice, listen as you vent your frustration, and their encouraging words may help you see the situation differently. Your personal finances might not be as bad as you think, and it may take an outside observer to help you realize this. 

3. Reach the Point of Acceptance

The situation is what it is, and you can’t change the outcome. To overcome financial disappointment, you have to accept the situation and prepare your mind to move forward. You can wallow in self-pity and continue to beat yourself up, but both actions are paralyzing and keep you stuck in the situation. Acceptance, on the other hand, can be empowering. This doesn’t mean you agree with what’s happening or that you’re making excuses for any past behaviour, Instead, you’re acknowledging the outcome and you’re ready to take steps to reverse the situation. 

4. Determine where you went wrong

In order to move forward from financial disappointment, you need to understand the circumstances that led to the undesirable outcome. Knowing where you went wrong or recognizing what contributed to your financial downfall, can help you avoid this issue in the future. For example, if you experienced financial disaster after losing a job, you may now understand the importance of an emergency cushion. 

5. Plan your next move

Brainstorm possible ways to rise above the disaster. If you’re struggling with high credit card debt and you’re having difficulty making minimum payments, try calling your creditors and asking for a lower interest rate. Ask your employer for extra hours or seek part-time work elsewhere to generate disposable income. If you can earn an extra $100 a week, that’s $400 a month or approximately $4,800 a year that can go toward your debt.

After a serious financial mishap, it can feel as if you’ll never recoup. However, if you understand the factors that contributed to your downfall, you can create a plan to get your personal finances back on track.

Photo Credit: Flickr

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