We are in scary times. Just look around. More and more we hear about burglaries, robberies, vehicle theft, and identity theft and - much more sinister happenings.
The 'have nots' taking from the 'haves'.
A lot more people are relying on the use of alcohol or drugs due to loss of employment and the lack of income. Even family violence is on the rise.
When finances are tight everyone feels the pinch. A person works their whole life, and then suddenly their job is taken from them or their hours cut to the bare minimum. Their livelihood is gone and desperation sets in.
How are they going to feed their family?
How do they keep a roof over their heads?
How do they pay their bills?
And, how do they overcome the humiliation?
For some? They do what they have to by whatever means to survive.
For others? They resort to less violent crimes and opt for more fraudulent incidents in the workplace in the form of workmen compensation claims or stealing from their employer to make a financial nest egg (otherwise referred to as white collar crimes.) Even fraudulent claims of slip and fall in public places and injuries from automobile accident have increased in hopes of bringing in some cash flow to the household. Again, desperation leads us to do desperate things that we would not normally even think of doing.
So how do we protect ourselves from also falling victim to these desperate times?
First and foremost - watch your pennies. Don't spend unless you have to. Think of that dollar as your last you'll have and hang on to it. I mean, let's face it, we have enough. We are a nation of waste. Most of us don’t even finish what’s on our dinner plates. So, make smaller portions. Heaven knows we all could lose a little around the middle (ouch I know!) We need to develop an attitude of gratitude where we are grateful for what we have. With the many disasters we have witnessed we see that we are truly a blessed nation.
Start enjoying what you do have. Now, don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having things - if you can afford them. Our problem is, we get bored with our possessions and want the newer/greater.
Instead of buying new furniture, try moving what you have around to create a new look for the living room and maybe just purchase one new thing? Or ladies, try different shoes, belts and accessories together with your "old clothes" to make great new outfits. And, instead of that usual trip to the mall, go to the park instead. Get out of the house. Sometimes being cooped up in the house actually fuels the stress of the situation. Spending time in nature is a true stress reliever (why do you think TV ads always have water, blue skies, breezes and green landscapes??? They are calming.)
All of us know of or have family members who have lost their jobs or had a reductiuon of pay. To help them, avoid talking about the job market or asking if they have “found anything yet” as this only reinforces anxiety.
Think creatively as to how you can better spend your money. As kids we used to love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. What happened to that? How long has it been since you have eaten one??? Why not have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich night. Make it a fun thing opposed to a “sorry this is all we have” mindset.
What really matters in life, is health, family, friends and overall well-being. We don’t know what the future holds with the economy, interest and mortgage rates.
What we do know is we must prepare for whatever comes our way.
- Survivor Jane
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