This is a post by Chelsea who is currently doing a Spending Fast®.
Imagine with me for a second that you are cruising along in life, adhering to your Spending Fast contract, when you suddenly lose your job. What would you do? Let’s take it a step further and say that the same day you lost your job, you also lost your house. A bit far-fetched, but just hang in there. What if in that same day you not only lost your job and your house but you also lost your romantic partner AND you had to immediately move out of the state. Your life was great and within one day, everything changed dramatically and you had absolutely no power to stop it from happening.
Welcome to the last 14 days of my life. When this article gets published, it will be exactly two weeks from the day that all of these things happened to me. My partner told me that he wished to terminate the relationship and I moved from Ohio to North Carolina. My column is about transparency and how to survive/succeed on a Spending Fast. While today should have been the day when I announce my grand totals for Month Three, life has thrown me a curve ball and the Spending Fast had to face some challenges.
How I’ve Been Surviving Unexpected Life Events During My Spending Fast…
With all of these sudden changes, I have had a lot of time to evaluate my Spending Fast goals as well as life goals in general.
So what do you do if you find yourself in a similar situation?
- Stop everything and make a budget. I know many of you already have a budget (I definitely did) but when a life altering event happens, that budget is going to change. I looked at my finances and the bills I knew were still going to come and I made sure I paid them right away. Cell phone companies don’t care if you’re living in a fog. Force yourself to focus and get all the known bills covered.
- Make a game plan. I had just started a new job in Ohio and was planning out ways to advance in that setting. Obviously, that plan had to change so I sat down and wrote out new goals. These goals had to be something that motivated me to get up in the mornings. My initial plan was to shower daily, find an apartment and apply to as many jobs as possible. I am happy to report that the showering and apartment finding has been a success. I am still job hunting but knowing I have already accomplished the other goals keeps me inspired.
- Use those skills to hustle! With no job at the moment and a brand new apartment, I need some source of income. I have been freelancing my writing skills online and posting items to sell on eBay. My personal life may have come to a halt but I will still have bills to pay and therefore need to keep putting myself, and my skills out there.
- Start a gratitude list. People always say to be careful what you wish for and I now realize why. I hated my second job in Ohio and wanted to be able to quit more than anything. My wish came true; not in the way I would have expected but I am free from that toxic work environment and it’s a beautiful thing. At the end of the day, every day since I left Ohio, I have been writing things that I loved about that day. Initially it was the fact that I had a hotel to stay in and a dog to make me feel needed. Now, I list things like how great it felt to laugh with my best friend or the fact that I can see the sun here! There is always a silver lining and changing your attitude about a situation will always make things better. Remaining positive has dramatically changed things for the better.
My Spending Fast had to take a minor pause. Through these weeks I have reminded myself that I am in less debt now than I have been in years and it feels great. The thought of being debt free has inspired me and I will continue to remain focused. With any luck, I will be able to find a job quickly and hop back on the absolute Spending Fast lifestyle.
If you are going through a tough time financially just know that you can do this. No matter the situation, there will always be a way that you can save money and put it towards your debt. Re-evaluate your goals and stay encouraged!
What are some ways that you continued to pay debt during a tough financial time?
Chelsea Overton is in the midst of a Spending Fast® and writes about it from North Carolina with her bulldog, Xena the Warrior Princess, by her side.