Just the other day I was talking about how amazing it is to be on top of your finances, but the path to that success is definitely a bumpy one at times.
I remember a really bad week a few years ago. I was still paying off my student loans, so a lot of my paycheck would go to that. I had set aside a little extra though to go white water rafting with two friends as we drove from Colorado Springs to Las Vegas for work.
The trouble started a few days before that trip when my hubcap fell off/got stolen/was abducted by aliens from my car. I remember sighing and thinking, well, at least it’s just $60.
The next night, I got food poisoning and wound up in the emergency room – that was $150 copay I really didn’t need to be shelling out then.
Then a friend got engaged and another friend in the group guilt tripped us all into pitching in $50 for a congrats basket.
By the time we got to the white water rafting trip, I was stressed as all get out since my white water rafting money had been eaten up by all these incidents. I figured I could stretch myself really carefully to my next paycheck though and be fine.
Then, after a really fun rafting trip, I hit a deer.
For the love of pearl, some weeks you just can’t win.
Hitting the deer could’ve been worse. Fortunately, my best friend lives in Las Vegas and hooked me up with a most alarming possible chop shop that fixed the entire thing for $300.
On that day though, coming up with $300 was like wringing money from a stone. I wound up cash advancing a credit card. It was not a proud moment.
When you’re in debt, sometimes you just need to make a plan and stick to it to get out. Occasionally, my plan of just funneling everything at my debt would blow up in my face. Sometimes you just can’t afford to get it wrong.
I was also lucky to have very few other bills. Some things are non-negotiable. Even if you’re in debt, you still need to eat, you still need a home. There are companies who can help you get your finances sorted and debts paid off – as long as you can stick to the plan – and still manage to keep your budget functioning enough to keep you fed and sheltered.
The thing is, there are times when life just throws you more curveballs than you can actually handle. When that happens, it doesn’t hurt to reach out for help and develop the right plan so that you can get everything back in order and knock the next curveball out of the park.