Starting Over

Posted by Chad E. Smith on August 12, 2013

Divorce, the death of a spouse or other loved one, serious illness, or loss of employment can all lead to a personal financial crisis. Starting over may be one of the most difficult challenges you face, but with strategic and incremental steps, you can rebuild your financial stability.

One of the biggest challenges of a major life change like a divorce or death is dealing with the emotional hardships while also trying to figure out how to meet your financial obligations. Having a support network is critical during this time. Trusted family members, friends, neighbors, or a therapist can help you work through your grief and worry so you can keep moving toward your financial goals.

Here are some steps that can help:

  • Hiring a financial planner is ideal, but if you can’t afford it there are many online resources to help you take control of your new situation. Knowing exactly where you stand financially is the first step. This means documenting all of your debt, income, assets, and monthly bills. Making a new household budget will help you determine how much you earn and spend, and how much you’ll be able to save.
  • Review all areas of your budget to identify where you can cut back, as well as where you can share resources and/or expenses with family members or friends. This includes buying food and bulk items together, sharing meals, swapping children’s clothing, or carpooling.
  • If you’re not working, look for career services, job fairs, and job-hunting workshops, which are offered for free in many communities. If you’re not sure of your next career move, consider earning money with temporary work in the meantime. You may want to consider temping in a field that you are interested in and/or have some experience, as it could lead to a permanent position.
  • If you’re working and need more money, consider a second, part-time job that won’t be too overwhelming. Just a little extra income might help you reach your goals more quickly, and the short-term investment would be worth it.
  • Be sure you and your family have adequate life insurance to protect against the unexpected. It’s not wise to eliminate your coverage during times of financial hardship. An affordable term life policy may be a good option.

Working toward a specific goal will help you stay focused during this difficult time. Remember that setbacks can happen to anyone. With the right planning, you can turn your circumstances around and look forward to a brighter future.

To learn more about how to make life insurance part of your new financial future, call SBLI at 1-800-438-7254.

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