Many of our posts have covered how to prepare for a financial emergency or what to do when one comes up. But we haven’t really addressed the post-emergency. So here are tips to get back on track when it happens to you.
Continue crisis budgeting
Crisis budgeting is not just for use during the emergency; you need to continue in that mode for at least a little while after. The longer you can keep expenses at a minimum, the faster you’ll get back on track.
Pay it off
If you had to take out credit to cover an unexpected bill, pay it off as quickly as possible. That’s where crisis budgeting really helps. It will create room in your budget to make that extra debt payment. And hopefully you can make more than the minimum payment to get rid of it faster. The more quickly that debt is gone, the sooner you can get back to budget business as usual.
Plan for non-emergencies
Periodic expenses like veterinary bills and vehicle maintenance are not emergencies, but we often treat them like they are because they’re sporadic. So think of these periodic expenses like they’re monthly expenses. Determine the total you spend on annual expenses and divide by 12. Then set aside that amount monthly so you’re prepared when it’s vet time for your pets.
Have a mini celebration
Once you’re back on track, celebrate with a nice dinner, go get a massage, or just take a day off and relax. Going through a financial emergency or tight financial time can be stressful, but you got through it! They always say it’s not the tough time that defines you, but how you respond to it. So pat yourself on the back for working hard and persevering.
Get saving again
Finally, once you’re back on track, go into savings mode. Save as much as you can for potential future emergencies. The more you save, the better prepared you will be. And the best part is you’ll be less likely to have to rely on credit and accrue debt.
If you got through an emergency, but you’re still trying to pay off credit cards, LSS can help. Call LSS at 888.577.2227 for your FREE financial counseling session or GET STARTED ONLINE. Our counselors will help you create a realistic spending plan and determine your best options for conquering your debt for good.
Author Elaina Johannessen is a Program Director with LSS Financial Counseling.