FINANCIAL STRESS = FAMILY STRESS

FINANCIAL STRESS = FAMILY STRESS

We all know that financial stress affects our relationships. When we’re worried about finances we have less emotional resources to resolve conflicts. The pandemic has magnified this. Not only is it more financially stressful, but the opportunity for conflict has increased with being together all day, every day. The activities we had built into our routines for stress-relief are gone. 

How are you handling this? Are you more easily angered? Are family relationships more volatile? Are your children a little more edgy or reactive? Is sibling conflict tougher to deal with?

We are feeling this too. It is hard. It is easy to overreact and take offence. Sometimes anger, impatience and frustration set the tone in our home.

Can we redeem this time? Can we emerge from this time stronger, healthier, and closer to those we love the most? Can we create fun together instead of driving each other crazy? Instead of just surviving, we can see it as an opportunity to build some good habits and practices that will draw our family closer together?

This is our goal for our family. But we definitely need some help getting there.

Jenn Dean is a fantastic family coach and mentor who wants to help parents succeed in building strong relationships with their kids. She is encouraging and creative as she provides tools and strategies to help families move toward peace and harmony. During this time, she is offering free coaching tips at Families Matter Most and on facebook and instagram to help families reduce stress, enjoy each other, and do fun things together. 

Changing habits and implementing new strategies takes consistency and accountability. If you are committed to emerging with stronger family relationships, join us in Jenn Dean’s 6 month Parenting Mastery Class with weekly teaching.

Let’s redeem this trial. Let’s look back on this time as the season when we focused on our families and built strong relationships to weather any storm.

PREPARE FOR THE WORST (and hope for the best)

PREPARE FOR THE WORST (and hope for the best)

“The prudent see danger coming and take cover.”

So, how do we prepare for the worst and how do we plan for the unknown? When we’re in panic mode it is very difficult to plan and prioritize. A helpful exercise is to imagine ourselves one year from now. Looking back, what would we wish we had done differently in regard to our finances?

Here are a few things that I think are really important:

1. Prepare or update your will.

We all know that we should have a will and keep it updated, but it’s usually a low priority since we don’t plan on dying anytime soon. So, let’s take action and prepare our wills.
This does not need to be expensive or difficult. There are online templates to fill out and you can notarize a will for free at your MLA’s office. My husband and I plan to update our wills this week.

2. Make sure you have life insurance.

Maybe purchasing life insurance has been on you to-do list for a while. Now is the time to put that in place. Why is life insurance important? Life Insurance is a lump sum, tax free payout to your beneficiary upon your death. A life insurance policy can pay off any debts that you leave behind that would be a burden to your family (mortgage, credit cards, car loan, funeral expenses). Life insurance can help you with peace of mind, knowing that your family is protected should something happen to you.

3. Do some research and seek wise counsel.

None of us have ever lived through a global pandemic and the resulting economic fallout. No one knows what lies ahead or how best to prepare. However, we can seek out wise people and learn from them.

Recently, I’ve found tremendous help and perspective from a man named Hans Johnson. For a number of years we attended conferences lead by his wife, Dani. We found a lot of encourage and wisdom at those conferences. As we got to know them, we came to trust them.

Hans is a business man, investor, and philanthropist. Since the pandemic he has posted a number of videos regarding how the economy may be impacted in other the short and long term. He offers a big picture perspective that is eye opening. He challenges us to:

  • Prepare for the worst and hope we are wrong.
  • Do not panic, but take action.

Click here to hear from Hans Johnson (Video 1, Video 2, Video 3)

Let’s be people of action, who see the danger, and take steps to prepare.

HOW TO HUNKER DOWN FINANCIALLY

HOW TO HUNKER DOWN FINANCIALLY

Help! I’ve lost my job!

Whether you have lost a job or you are in a prolonged season where your expenses are higher than your income, the result is the same: Stress.

When we are stressed, it is hard to make good decisions, to think clearly, and to plan for the future with confidence.

We were in this position for a long time. I dreaded opening the mail (and often left it unopened for a month or more). Paying bills was extremely stressful. We owed more than we could pay and had to choose which ones and how much.

How to Prioritize

In this past week, I came across some common sense advice that I wish I had known when we were struggling.

It’s simple, straightforward, clear advice in a video by Dave Ramsey (click here to watch the video … at about 16 minutes)

I’ll sum up one of the keys ideas here

Focus on the Four Walls.

The only thing we need to do with our money when we have lost our job is take care of the ‘Four Walls’ of our house.

The Four walls are:

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Utilities
  • Transportation

We should take care of these priorities in this order. Buying food for our family is our top priority. Then we pay our mortgage or rent. Next, we pay our utilities: water, power, electricity. Finally, we make sure we have transportation so we can get to work.

You don’t need to worry about anything else right now. Credit card payments can wait and student loan debt can wait. You don’t need to put money into investments or savings right now. Take a deep breath, and take the pressure off yourself. Your goal is simply to meet the basic needs of your family.

This is so concrete and practical. It would have reduced my stress and helped me have confidence in my financial decisions during our painful time.

During a storm, the goal is to hunker down, take shelter, and weather the storm. You don’t want to panic. You just want to lay low, wait for the storm to pass, and do whatever you need to survive through this season.

In the last half of the video, Dave Ramsey and his team also talk about finding work during this time of crisis (click here to watch the video).

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