Guest post by Elise from New Life Recovery Coaching.
In my last guest article I shared how my husband and I felt when we completely ran out of money. Yes, it was one of the worst nights of my life, but also one of the most hopeful. It’s like they say: When you hit bottom, you’ve nowhere else to go but up!
As many of you shared in the comments after that piece we all seem to struggle with the emotions of despair, hopelessness, and fear when we’re dealing with our money. Especially when we’re first facing a crisis situation, it is nearly impossible to avoid panic.
Then there is the issue of social pressure. When I spend time around people who spend money very differently than I do, it is easy to feel smaller, judged, and belittled.
Over the past year or so I’ve discovered some personal ‘battle armor’ to protect my focus on changing the financial future of my family as well as my own sanity:
1. Online Communities, Coupon Groups, and Mom Blogs
I’ve got to start with the obvious one! We’re all here, aren’t we? On MoneySavingMom®, we’re connecting about how to get further on less and live differently with our money. Sometimes I’ve felt silly for relying so completely on online resources. But it also seems as if I more easily find ‘kindred spirits’ when I search for like-minded folks online.
2. Local Couponing Groups
In my corner of America, I subscribe to a local email newsletter that outlines local deals and specials. Frugal Living Northwest also offers coupon classes to church or community groups. This is a great way to meet other struggling yet hopeful families and connect over our new perspectives on finances.
3. Other Support Groups
From Alanon to Celebrate Recovery and Bible study groups at church, formal community groups can offer a level of family-type-support that sometimes we don’t get from our own families when we are struggling through big changes in our money-management habits. 12-step groups can provide assistance with setting boundaries and learning better ways of dealing with family, friends, and other sources of ‘drama’ that can stress us beyond belief.
4. Mini Staycations
As mom’s, wives, husband’s, dad’s, brother’s, sister’s, we give and give and give–even in tough times. When we can’t afford that luxury latte for a 5-minute pick-me-up or a trip to the movies with our girlfriends to decompress, sometimes we start to think that we don’t have any rejuvenation options left. It’s so easy to give in to the temptation to panic and over-spend when we feel trapped and overwhelmed.
A better solution is to plan a “mini staycation” into our week an evening or lunchtime break. Brew a cup of tea, grab an encouraging book, and just breathe for a few moments.
5. Ask questions
One of the most common things I hear from my life-coach clients is how long they waited in misery and terror before they finally simply started asking around for some support. Just the action of reaching out for answers to our worries or fears puts us on track to find them!
Bottom line: Don’t assume that because we’re making new, frugal, and even squeaky-tight financial choices that our options for emotional and spiritual support are eliminated. The community spirit that can rise up when folks share honestly about their struggles is unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced! We aren’t alone!
Elise Photini Adams is serving clients and audiences across the United States as the NewLife Recovery Coach, offering common-sense inspiration and transforming truths that she’s learned from over 10+ years in personal recovery from homelessness, addiction and abuse. Elise has a new Free Report entitled ‘7 Free Sources of Emergency Cash-Free, Fast, Legal’ out now!