If there is one thing that I have learned over the years is that situations can change quickly and without warning. Being prepared for everything is not possible but having some of the big ones taken into account can make all the difference when facing these changes. The problem of a diminished income should be addressed before it happens. In this ever changing economy one of the biggest things that we have to understand is that our jobs can be downsized, eliminated entirely, or our incomes can be reduced. These measures have been taken by some companies to reduce costs and exposure in the changing economic landscape. If this does happen you may have time to get everything arranged before the change happens but often we have little time to adjust to the change. Here are five steps to take to make sure you and your family are prepared if you should have a reduced income on the horizon.
- The hardest part of anything is being able to talk about it. Usually we avoid these conversations because once we put words to the problem it becomes too real. Making sure that you talk it through with your family and make sure that the problems are addressed and not avoided will make the situation easier. Dealing with the problem head on will get you to the finish line much quicker than if we avoid the problem altogether.
- Looking at a budget ahead of time will allow you to deal with a diminished income when it happens much easier. A proper budget will allow you to know what you have coming in and going out so that if the unthinkable happens you will be able know what to do. Having a budget already developed only makes your overall life much easier in good times and bad.
- If you have a job loss entirely or need to look for something new because your income has dropped significantly you need to look immediately. Waiting until your situation sinks in will only waste precious time that could be used to get more income coming into the household.
- Self doubt and the “victim” mentality will only detract you from your goal. No matter how prepared you are for this financial crisis you will lose ground when you begin to let these thoughts creep in. Your goal is to repair your income issues not to let them take over your life. Sit down, take a deep breath, look around and take stock of your life and let that deep breath out. Once you do this know that things do not happen to you they happen for you. Grasp the opportunities that lay before you and know that you will come out on the other side, maybe a little worse for wear, but you will prepared to take on anything.
- Be prepared to make sacrifices in your life. We tend to get comfortable in our daily lives. We get the premium coffee, load up on channels we never watch on the tv and have other things that are considered luxuries around us. Being prepared for the crisis and seeking action to address your financial issues may work slower than you anticipate. Make sure that you look at your monthly budget and be prepared to start cutting the luxuries. These are the first things we hate to let go because we have worked so hard to get them but what we fail to realize is that these things are the easiest to get used to not having.
No matter how prepared we are the situation of lost or diminished income through a job change can take its toll on us. Just know that if you take these few steps to begin with you will be able to weather the storm. I cannot say that it will be easy but making it easier rather than harder will only let you get through it as best as you can.Bruce A. Gleason, Registered Representative of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS), 600 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14202. Securities products and services offered through PAS, 800-777-3411. Financial Representative, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian. Alliance Advisory Group, Inc. is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. PAS is a member FINRA, SIPC.