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Myth Busting – when things hit the fan

by Ashleigh Cooper on November 30, 2012

This week I wanted to share with you some of the biggest misconceptions people have when it comes to dealing with financial difficulties. When the ‘financial’ going gets tough for you these tips may come in handy.

Myth One: If I don’t think about it then it’s not really happening.

This myth is pretty self-explanatory. I like to compare it to children who close their eyes and believe that you can’t see them. If you look at the situation that child is still standing there, and you can still see them.

If you are faced with any financial difficulty, the best thing to do is get all of your emotional ‘stuff’ out of the way, then sit down with a nice cup of tea (or coffee if you prefer) and face the facts. You need to think out what you are going to do about it.

For examples sake, let’s assume that you have lost your job. You need to sit down and think the following things through logically:

  1. Am I getting a pay out?
  2. If I am getting a pay out, how many weeks’ wages will it be? [This gives you an indication of how long you can go before starting the next job]
  3. Do I have any savings that I can use as ‘wages’ to add more time to the “I must find a job by” dead line?
  4. Are there any expenses I can cut back on until I am employed?

With the above facts sorted you can then relax a little, figure out how much time you have and get started on finding a new job.

Myth Two: It’s best to not tell anyone about my financial situation.

I suppose that this myth is a bit of a half truth. If you are a private person, and not too fond of every Tom, Dick and Harry knowing your financial situation, then yes I agree, I wouldn’t be announcing on Facebook that you are broke.

However, there are some people who you MUST let know when things have hit the fan. You must always tell the people who you owe money to that you cannot make payments. I know that this seems like a really scary thing to do, BUT rest assured it isn’t that bad.

I know several companies (think electricity, phone and gas) that you can phone to get an extension on your payments, you don’t even actually need to talk to someone. You can just press a button on your phone key pad, and it extends the payment date by a couple of weeks.

If you can’t make your mortgage payment, the best thing to do is phone the home loan company and explain your situation to them. They may be able to set you up on a hardship program, or give you a few extra weeks to make your repayment – at no cost.

If you don’t call them, you will risk not only getting charged a dishonour fee, you may also find it affects your credit rating.

Until next time

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