I put out a call for questions on Instagram, and I got a really great one: What happens if you have to go into debt temporarily?
I hate debt. I hate owing people money. But I also live in reality.
If you find yourself on the verge of making a decision to go back into debt, ask yourself why.
What is happening? What are you going back into debt for? Is it to buy a new car? To buy a new-to-you vehicle? Maybe if you have time, if you can eke a few more months out of your old vehicle, don't do it.
Is it to go on vacation? Don't do it. Is it to buy holiday gifts? Don't do it. If it's to replace an appliance, don't do it.
But understand, this is reality and sometimes there are situations beyond your control.
We heard of a family that their child had to be taken via life flight to a the hospital, and they ended up with an astronomical bill for that flight. They had to go back into debt to deal with that. It was their child; it was beyond their control.
And I can tell you, as a mama, if it were the health of my child or the well-being of my child or my husband, I'd do what I had to do, forgive myself, make a plan, and move on.
Sometimes there are times in life when you have to forgive yourself, make a plan, and move on.
I don't advocate going into debt, but I also don't live in a fairyland, where life doesn't happen. Unexpected things happen and sometimes, you don't have much of a choice.
Second, I would see if I had any other options available to me.
If I could do some sort of payment plan where I wasn't borrowing money but I was paying in advance. I would see if I could find a cheaper alternative. Without knowing the situation, I feel like I'm throwing spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks. But I would see if there was a cheaper, more economical option available.
Third, I would see if I could put it off for a little while.
I would see if there was a way for me to bring in more income. Again, I know, easier said than done. Lastly, once I had exhausted all of those resources, then I would do what I had to do.I would make the best possible decision for me and my family.
Life is not perfect. Things happen. Things change so quickly and so drastically. And as much as I hate debt, sometimes, life is what life is.I hope that didn't come across as a flippant answer. You know, y'all, real life happens.
Life isn't easy, and it certainly doesn't stop when you get out of debt. Yes, life is easier when you get out of debt and you're able to save money and you're able to make payments. But here is a secret that no one in the debt-free arena seems to want to talk about: crap still happens. And you still have to make tough financial choices sometimes. And those choices mean saying no to a lot of things still.
We've had to make some tough calls this year; I've been really open about that. We still have our savings account and it is still healthy. And we are still in that 3-6 months emergency fund situation. But there were times when I would see that number get smaller and smaller. I would freak out a little bit, and work to get it back up.
Have you had to go back into debt? Leave me a comment.