The stock market crash leading to the recession at the end of 2008 caught many by surprise. If you’re among those whose savings and investments were ravaged by the economic downturn, don’t despair. To lose your assets in such a manner is a traumatic experience, to be sure, but you can bounce back. The first thing you should do is explain the situation to your loved ones so they can offer their support during these trying times, then follow our 7-step financial recovery plan to reclaim your monetary standing.
1- Evaluate the damage
The first action to take in our 7-step financial recovery plan is to catalog all of your losses as well as your remaining capital. Don’t rely on your initial panicked realization. You need to look at hard numbers, which is why it’s important that you take every asset into account, including your house. The situation may not be as dire as you think. You should also contact the credit bureau or any of your financial institutions to check your credit report.
2- Set short-term financial goals
Don’t try to achieve everything all at once. Getting back on your feet is going to take some time, which is why our 7-step financial recovery plan recommends that you set temporary objectives to minimize your debt. This can include saving a modest sum every month and paying off high-interest loans. Make sure to keep your goals realistic. You may not be able to clear all of your credit cards immediately, so it’s a good idea to rank them by interest rate to determine which should be handled first.
3- Redo your budget
Given your current monetary situation, you’ll likely need to tighten your belt to achieve your short-term goals, so track your spending habits and eliminate any superfluous expenses. Be reasonable about it and avoid compromising your health. You may not have much use for cable television or a golf membership right now, but you still need to eat. As part of our 7-step financial recovery plan, we also suggest that you get rid of any unnecessary debt, such as the lease on a second car.
4- Follow your revised budget
Depending on how you typically deal with stress, this can be the most difficult part of our 7-step financial recovery plan. If you’re prone to splurging, it’s imperative that you resist your compulsive spending habits for the time being and that you always follow through on your new monetary decisions. This is not to say that you shouldn’t adjust your budget if you find you were overly optimistic about certain expenses, but keep in mind that you can’t afford your usual luxuries anymore.
5- Update your budget regularly
A key point in our 7-step financial recovery plan is the importance of revisiting your budget every few months. This will allow you to track your progress while adapting to the ever-shifting economic climate. However, be careful not to let your expense budget escalate each time you review it. A slight increase can be expected from time to time as your immediate needs change, but you should always prioritize your short-term financial goals.
6- Pad your income
The most obvious way to increase your revenue is to take on additional work. If your current occupation allows it, you can either volunteer for extra shifts or stay late to accumulate overtime. Otherwise, you may have to get a part-time job elsewhere. Our 7-step financial recovery plan also advises you to develop a passive source of income such as accumulated interest or paid advertisement on a blog. If you’re a homeowner, you can rent out a room as well.
7- Set new financial goals
Once you have achieved all of your short-term goals from the beginning of our 7-step financial recovery plan, it’s time for you to assess your overall monetary situation and formulate long-term objectives. To ensure that you can weather another market decline, your aims should include building a retirement fund (or replenishing it if you already had one), saving a fixed amount of money every month and establishing a more flexible budget. It’s also crucial that you maintain a practical lifestyle that’s adapted to your monetary means and needs.
Making a full financial recovery
Though our 7-step financial recovery plan will help you get back on your feet, keep in mind that the process can be particularly long and arduous, depending on the gravity of your situation and the extent of your responsibilities. Some days will seem harder than others, but it’s important that you never get discouraged. Try to learn from your experience. After all, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger — and you’re not dead yet.
7-Step Financial Recovery Plan Provided by AskMen.