Eight years ago, I had to move to new a city and start over with no job and about $2 in my bank account. I was forced to move back into my old childhood bedroom and start over from zero. There were five principles that I held on to while getting back on my feet.
1. Find steady Earned Income
There are many different types of income but earned income is defined that income that you work either through working or self-employment. I suggest finding this because this is a steady, week or bi-weekly or twice monthly income. After a month of receiving paychecks calculate your income per month.
2. Create a budget that you can stick to
This is easier said than done. Many of us have created budgets and ending up blowing them halfway through the month. Putting things such as the daily coffee/breakfast, new clothes, streaming services, and weekend plans give a realistic view of what you can spend or what you are willing to spend per week. Budgeting apps such as this article from Nerdwallet.comhave great suggestions for what budgeting apps to choose from.
3. Expect the unexpected
There are going to be things in life that will happen along the way that will require funds to fix. Starting an emergency fund for car repairs, traffic tickets (I hope that never happens), or any small emergency expense that may arise. This should be a separate account created from your everyday expenses and bills. Make a goal to put money aside for this every time you are paid. This should eventually turn into an emergency fund where 3-6 months of billing expenses are saved just in case of job loss or any other income loss.
4. Get a second income stream
If the pandemic didn’t teach us anything it’s to never put all your income eggs in one basket. It is known that millions of Americans either were furloughed or laid off in 2020 put them under financial strain. Though many are going back into the workforce it is important to create at least a second stream of income to offset any loss that may occur in the future.
5. Have a plan to pay off debt
If you are in debt take into account the debt that you have and work on a plan to pay this off. There are many methods out there but my favorite is The Snowball Method where you work to pay your debt from the smallest amount to the largest amount. There is also the Avalanche method which is paying off the largest amount first and working to the lowest. USnews.com has a list of apps that you can use to track your progress.
6. Things will get better
This last one is not finance-related, but your mindset is just important as organizing your finances. Falling on hard times is rough and that is putting lightly it was the hardest time of my life navigating during that time. Please take account of your mental health during these times. Please take the time out to do the things that you love, celebrate the wins, and if needed please reach out to a professional to speak with. Betterhelp.com has been helpful to many but there other apps and examples out there.
If you have any suggestions to navigate starting over please comment below.