If a natural disaster, divorce, bankruptcy, or just back luck has taken a toll on your financial situation, you may be wondering what you can do to get back on your feet. There are many things that you need to do in order to know where to go from here.
Tip # 1 – Take stock
The first thing to do is to sit down and prepare a spreadsheet that lays out all of your finances. You will need to list out each checking or savings account, CD, IRA, and 401k plan that you have and how much money is in each account. This helps you to know where you can find money when you need it. Always tap into the emergency cash reserve before you reduce yourself to credit cards for daily purchases. Hopefully you have enough money saved up to help you get by for at least 6 months while you look for a job and a place to live.
Tip # 2 – Get support
Ask friends or family members for help. If you find yourself homeless for whatever reason, the people closest to you may have an extra room you can live in for a few months as you get back on your feet. Depending upon their financial position, they may be able to loan you some money. Just put the loan into writing so you don’t end up damaging your relationship and make sure you repay the money.
Tip # 3 – Contact your insurance company
If you have been involved in a financial problem due to a car accident or some type of natural accident, talk to your insurance company. They should be working with you to find housing and many of them will send you a check based on the policy that you created with them. Depending upon the type of situation you may be in; the government may step in and provide you with financial assistance from FEMA or other groups. The Federal Emergency Management Agency website can provide you with more information on financial assistance and clean-up after a disaster.
Learn from your financial mistakes in the past and open an online savings account to become your emergency cash fund. This can help you to be prepared in the future. If you are really struggling financially, it may be possible to borrow against your retirement account. Look at the pros and cons of doing this as it can really hurt you financially for many years.