An effective way to deal with the understandable anxiety about finances is to pull together, face the realities as soon as possible, and come up with a plan.
Here are some ideas:
Be sure to discuss the impact of changing daily patterns, roles and responsibilities during the time of a decrease in income with your family. Negotiate tasks and duties as the need arises. Avoid using this time of crisis to bring up old conflicts and disagreements, rather use it as an opportunity to work out new arrangements. Schedule time for family members to check in with how they are doing, e.g. at a family meeting or outing. Listen and do not get defensive.
Click here to read the full Text of the budget speech by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mia Mottley.
Use every community and networking resource available.
Now is not the time to try to go at it alone. Reach out and use everything that is offered to you. A crisis like this gives you the opportunity and permission to get help.
Allow yourself some time to absorb what has happened, deal with the initial emotional reactions of yourself and significant others. Look into the positive aspects of your life so as to reduce the stress you may feel from your financial challenges.
By opening up to those who care about you, you will immediately gain support from the most important people in your life. They may also be a source of job information.
Spouses, partners and children are also affected by your decrease in income. Give them permission to talk about their reactions and concerns. Have a family meeting to discuss how the family will cope and get everyone’s ideas. Explain the economic forces that led to the job loss. Reassure children that the family will work together to get through this time.
A budget will assist you to decide when and how you are going to spend your money. Your budget will give you the control that’s needed to control your financial situation.
An emergency fund is money that you have set aside to cover unexpected expenses and financial emergencies. Start by putting $100 in the bank for each paycheck, then you can build from there. Aim to have $1,000 in the bank. Once you achieve this, you can aim to have up to six months of your expenses in your emergency fund.
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