Dealing with financial hardship is never easy—in fact, it’s one of the greatest sources of stress that anyone can go through. It’s even harder when you’ve got a family to support.
This is especially true if your children are too young to understand what is going on and why their parents have suddenly become so anxious, stressed, and likely irritable.
When dealing with financial hardship, it’s important to remember the priorities: your family is together and alive, and they should always come first.
In today’s post, we will work through some of the challenges you’re likely to face when dealing with financial hardship as a family, and how best to overcome them.
Dealing With Financial Hardship – How To Overcome It Together
Keep Lines of Communication Open
It’s often easy to fall prey to the temptation not to talk about your family’s hardship. There can be a lot of pride and shame wrapped up in financial matters.
For many parents, it’s difficult to talk about their financial concerns with their children. Some breadwinners even keep financial hardship information from their partners, which can cause even greater strain in the family.
The first thing to do when experiencing financial hardship as a family is to open up the lines of communication and get everything out in the open.
Explain to your spouse what has happened; perhaps you’ve been laid off from work, or have come into some unexpected debt.
Tell your children that you’re in a difficult spot and that things may not be back to normal for a little while.
If you need help, it’s always smart to seek professional counseling. And, there are plenty of options even for those who are experiencing financial trouble.
TalkSpace provides affordable therapy sessions remotely, so you can get the help you need without breaking the bank.
Remember to Support Each Other Emotionally
The next thing to do is remember that you’re in this together and that some members of your family may be taking it harder than others.
Likely the one “responsible” for the financial hardship may feel especially guilty and stressed about finding a new source of income to alleviate the difficulties your family is facing.
They should be supported, loved, and taken care of as they work through the complicated and difficult emotions they are likely to experience during this time.
Often, when people are stressed, particularly about financial matters, they snap at each other and become irritable and angry.
It’s important to see these emotions and validate them, but then to try to move past them to focus on being emotionally giving to those around you.
Your family will need plenty of love and support, and arguing over money is not the environment that will keep your kids from panicking.
When you can, focus on stress reduction in your family. Have a family game night to keep the kids’ minds off the worries you’re facing.
The adults in the family should probably stay away from alcohol, which can often lead to emotional outbursts and fights, and choose a different method to destress, like CBD.
CBDfx produces a popular line of CBD capsules, for instance, which offer a chill, mellowing effect without getting you high: essential for stressed-out parents going through financial hardship.
You can also try other stress-reduction strategies, like mindfulness, yoga, exercise, or even something fun like a family movie night.
The point is that, no matter what you’re struggling through, you’ll be able to face it better if everyone is destressed and level-headed.
Once communication has been established and emotions have been managed, it’s time to think about your game plan moving forward.
Make a Game Plan
The adults in the home should sit down and get to work doing detailed accounting of their finances.
You should assess all sources of income, see where your debts and liabilities stand, and figure out what the smartest next moves are.
If it’s a lost job that is causing issues, job search tools like ZipRecruiter can be helpful in connecting you with possible employers.
Getting back to work quickly and efficiently is vital when you’re in financial hardship. So, leads on possible jobs should also be a central part of your recovery game plan.
Lastly, you should establish a new budget. When facing hardship, chances are that you will have to lower your monthly spending, and your new budget should reflect that.
Set up a recovery budget that helps you better allocate funds to necessities like food and gas while also covering any debts you may need to pay back.
Getting through hardship is, well, hard. However, you should always seek to do it together, as a family. That will make it all the better when you come out on the other side.
By remembering to stick together as a family, communicate, support one another, and make a solid game plan, you can make it through dealing with financial hardship.