When a family crisis strikes, the last thing you need is financial problems getting in the way. However, because of the emotional or physical impact of these kind of situations, money troubles can quickly emerge.
Perhaps you are encountering difficulties at work, or are experiencing an issue with your mental or physical health. Maybe you’ve had to deal with the loss of a loved one, or perhaps you’re just not coping with a stressful lifestyle.
Whatever issues you are dealing with, it is important that you don’t let your finances get you down in a family crisis.
Manage your emotional state, while also keeping your finances in check. The former is certainly more important, which is why you don’t need the latter to exacerbate your problems.
Featured Image credit: Max Pixel
Crisis can quickly be followed by chaos, particularly where families are concerned.
If someone you know is experiencing health problems, for example, you might begin worrying about whether this will affect their job status and whether they will be able to continue paying the bills.
If a family member has passed away, there are a lot of administrative tasks that have to be completed while you are in the midst of the grieving process. It’s understandable if this all gets too much, which is why having personal techniques to help you stay calm is so important.
Going for a short walk or practising meditation can be an effective way of introducing calm into a crisis situation.
Taking some time out to calm down and regain focus can help you manage a situation much more effectively than just trying to plough through all of your issues at once.
Another very simple technique is to just stop what you’re doing and take a deep breath. It won’t solve all of your family issues, but it might bring some clarity to the situation.
Break down the problem.
Another approach to managing difficult family problems is to break down the wider issue into its constituent parts.
If your child has started becoming destructive at school, for example, examine what might have caused this. Maybe trouble at home has instigated this issue and can be rectified, or maybe he’s broken up with his girlfriend.
Whatever the reason, try to identify the cause of the problem rather than just treating the symptoms.
If your family crisis is purely financial, or involves money in some way, then breaking it down can prove very helpful.
Come up with a spreadsheet or budget looking at your income and outgoings, and identify where the problem areas are. You may quickly be able to find what’s causing a drain on your finances and put a stop to it.
Look out for your children.
Although you always have your children’s best interests at heart, it is particularly important to monitor the wellbeing of your children when the usual family dynamic is affected.
If a close relative is ill or has recently passed away, this can have a big impact on younger members of the family, but they may not express their emotions in the same way as an adult would.
Every child reacts to emotional turmoil differently, but some common responses include becoming aggressive, antisocial or disruptive.
Take special care to monitor their behaviour, both at home and in school, and offer them as much reassurance and comfort as you can.
In order to help your child deal with a family crisis in the best possible way, try to get them back into their normal everyday routine as quickly as possible, as the structure will help provide a feeling of normality. In addition, make sure that you replace negative feelings with positive ones wherever possible.
So, in the aforementioned case of a departed family member, focus on happy memories rather than their passing.
Look to your support network.
When things aren’t going your way and finances are strained, your support network of family and friends takes on even greater significance.
Friends, family members, neighbours and work colleagues may all be willing to offer a helping a hand, but you must first let them know about your difficulties.
At times of a family crisis, it can be tempting to shut yourself off from the outside world and it is certainly understandable if you need some time alone for introspection.
However, trying to deal with all your problems on your own can bring its own challenges as it does not provide you with an outlet to express what you are feeling.
In addition to providing emotional support, family and friends can also be of great practical benefit. Perhaps you need someone to look after the children for a few hours or drive you somewhere.
If you’re struggling to cope at any stage of your life, your support network could supply the help you need.
Seek alternative financial arrangements.
Financial stress can rapidly build up in times of crisis, whether you need money quickly to pay off debts or are worried about putting food on the table following a work disruption.
Whatever your situation, remember that there are alternative financial arrangements that could help you to cope.
Seeking financial assistance from your bank could be one way of dealing with monetary pressure, with many institutions offering loans and structured payment plans to help you manage your finances.
Likewise, if you are in need of a loan, but do not have a good credit score, some lenders simply require that you have a stable home and employment in order to accept your application for auto loans without the need for any kind of credit check.
Save for the unexpected.
If crisis hits your family, one of the best ways to ensure that financial issues don’t hinder the coping process is to have money saved up for a rainy day. By putting aside a little bit each month, you can more easily deal with unexpected problems like the loss of a job or a personal injury.
Money won’t correct your family issues, but if you can make sure your finances are as strong as possible, then it is one less thing to worry about at times of crisis.