We’re told in the Bible, “Wise people store up choice things but a foolish person consumes everything he has.“ (Proverbs 21:20) But there are times when even one’s savings isn’t enough to help you get through a financial crisis. That’s when the next question arises. Whether your financial problems happened because of poor choices, or because of circumstances beyond your control, how do you survive financial trouble?
Deal With FinancialTrouble and Survive?
The Bible says that “it rains on the just and the unjust.” So we can count on the fact that we will encounter storms at times. And when the storms come, we can lose a lot in the process. Sometimes our relationship with each other is the biggest “trouble” we will encounter. It can become compromised to the point that one or both spouses believes divorce is the only way to solve things.
But there is a better way —a way in which everyone benefits. As financial expert Dave Ramsey says:
“There’s a joke that says, ‘Marriage is grand, but divorce is 50 grand.’ (This means that divorce is multiple times more expensive than people realize in many, many ways.) If you can’t make it financially together, you’re going to have a real hard time making it apart.
“What I tell couples is that the enemy is out there. Hang onto each other and work through these problems together, rather than separately.” (Dave Ramsey)
But how do you work together to deal with financial trouble, which cause financial and relationship chaos?
First: BE PREPARED
The Bible talks about being wise in building your home upon the foundation of Christ and His principles for living. Jesus stated:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.“ (Matthew 7:24-25)
To help you to wisely prepare and/or deal with financial trouble when a “storm” hits, below you’ll find links to insightful articles. Within these articles, you can learn ways to get through times of crisis. And you’ll also learn how to better build your future financial house on a more solid footing.
The first article is written by Dennis Rainey. It is posted on the web site for the ministry of Family Life Today. And the second one is written by Mary Hunt, posted on the web site for Crosswalk. Please read:
Also, from the book, Money Trouble: Surviving Your Financial Crisis, written by Deborah McNaughton, here are some of the many tips she gives. They concern weathering a financial storm, that you may find helpful:
• “Don’t panic.
When facing a financial crisis, stay calm. This will help you think logically and you’ll avoid unnecessary arguments with your spouse.
• “Quit spending money.
When faced with a financial challenge, it’s easy to use your credit cards. But you may run up your balance to the credit limit and not be able to afford the payments, which will result in a poor credit rating. This is something you won’t want during a crisis time.
• “Prioritize your bills.
Pay essential, or survival, bills first: food, mortgage or rent, utilities. Next, pay car insurance, medical needs, child support, and any loans such as automobiles and furniture that are secured as collateral. Then pay the nonessential bills. Pay those debts in which no immediate consequences occur if paid late. These consist of credit and charge cards, attorney, medical, and accounting bills, newspaper and magazine subscriptions, life insurance, childcare, gyms, or clothing.
• “Communicate with your creditors.
If you can’t pay your bills or can only pay a partial amount, your creditors may be able to help you to establish a repayment plan. Some lenders will allow you to defer one payment a year. That means the payment for that particular month doesn’t have to be made. The deferred payment is added to the end of the contract.
• “Take notes of any conversations with creditors.
List the date and the person with whom you spoke. Whatever arrangement you make, get it in writing from the creditor before you send in money.
• “Know your rights.
Many collection agencies are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. To get a copy of this legislation, visit www.ftc.gov. If you feel you’ve been violated, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at their website.
• “Avoid bankruptcy.
Bankruptcies should be your last resort. A bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for up to 10 years.”
And then here are a few more tips to help you survive financial trouble, written by Craig Ford. (You can find even more tips in his article, How to Survive a Financial Crisis: 12 Tips for Married Couples.) Craig advises:
• “Prioritize Together By Asking ‘What Is Most Important To You?’
What things do you value the most? What people do you need around you? If I lost “x”, things would be even worse. Write the items in a list. For example, food, household, transport … Take your very first dollar and apply it to #1 on your list. Go in order no matter how loudly someone else says they need to get paid.
• “Switch To Survival Mode.
Bring in the spending tsar who reduces spending to absolute necessities. I suggest you write your needs list and then cut out half the stuff. This is the time to get the most mileage out of every single dollar. While your life might feel completely out of control this is still one area you can control. Spend carefully and intentionally…
Lastly, and above all, concerning financial trouble and other troubles keep in mind what we’re told in the Bible:
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,’ when you have it with you.” (Proverbs 3:27-28)
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.
If you have additional tips to help others survive financial troubles, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
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Filed under: Finances in Marriage