In the first six months of our marriage, we were super broke. I was doing my best to budget but I was still figuring it all out.
Then Austin lost his job and our only income.
It was a scary time. I gave up on my budget for a short period of time because I felt like it was pointless. We had no money.
I was scared to spend a spare dollar because I wasn’t sure if we would have enough money to pay our bills, so why budget?
The problem with giving up on my budget was that it didn’t help anything. The fear is in the unknown. Without a plan, I had no idea what to do with the little money we had and that made things even scarier.
Honest Moment: Things will not get better on their own.
We’ve faced and overcome multiple “scary money situations” in the last seven years and the fear is always in the unknown. Once you know what’s going on and how bad it really is, you can make a plan to handle it. It will still be hard but it will be much less scary.
If you’re scared of your financial situation, these are the actions that have helped us work through tough times:
What to Do When You’re Too Scared to Face Your Bank Account
Write It All Down
The only way to get over your financial fear is to face your situation head on. This means writing it all down.
Once you know exactly where you’re at, you can form a plan on how to make it better.
Figure out how much debt you have. Write down how much you owe on credit cards, medical bills, car loans, and personal loans.
Make sure you know how much the minimum payment on each of these is as well as their due date.
The goal is to pay them all off but when things are tight, you want to know how much your minimum payments are so that you can at least keep them current.
Bills & Expenses
Write down each of your regular bills and when they are due. Look into the possibility of cutting out or lowering cable, phone, and gym bills (or any other not completely necessary bills).
Account for your important expenses too, like food and gas. A lot of expenses can be cut back during tough times. We went months without going out to eat when times were tough.
You might want to look at this post on how to create your first budget.
Now it’s time to make your plan. Figure out when your next paychecks will be and how much money you’ll have to work with.
It’s most important to keep up with you most basic food, housing, and transportation costs first. After you know you can pay for those things, plan how to spend your paycheck on bills and minimum debt payments.
I’m not saying that it will be easy. It will probably be hard to work your plan. But having a plan and knowing where you’re at will take a lot of the fear out of the situation. It’s hard, but at least you know what to do.
Money stuff can be scary. The longer you ignore money problems, the scarier it will get and the bigger problem you might have.
If you take these steps, you’ll understand your situation and be able to make a plan.
Just having a plan will take some of the fear out of the situation and you can focus on making things better.
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