If you’re listening to the news for any portion of the day recently, you’ll hear words like unprecedented, unparalleled, unusual and abnormal to describe our current situation. I’ll bet you remember other situations that have taken us by surprise but we have endured and this will be no different.
Normally our blog features money topics such as budgets, student loans, retirement, credit and debt, but it would be disingenuous not to address the elephant in the room. The sudden spread of the COVID-19 virus has left many worried about their health, but others are terrified at the prospect of not having a paycheck for an undetermined length of time. Still others are wondering how they’ll face the burden of having to feed their children two extra meals per day until they go back to school. How to pay for necessary medication is an additional concern. In this particular blog, I want to offer encouragement and support and to let you know that people have weathered sudden financial crisis, and so will you.
Humans are quite resilient and the heart of someone who is determined to get through a crisis with limited or no resources can be unstoppable. It takes grace and humility to ask for help when you need it and I don’t want you to collapse under the weight of the strain of this pandemic. I want you to do what you have to do to get through it!
When I was in my junior year of college, my father had a horrible accident where he was burned over 20% of his body. There was no more calling home for “extra” money; no more huge care boxes in the mail; no more shopping trips when I came home on break. My stepsister (she was also a college junior) and I had to figure out a lot of stuff on our own with no warning. I had summer jobs before, but now, mid-semester, I had to think fast where I could get some cash. I took odd jobs around campus, I filled-in shifts for other students who didn’t want to lose their jobs. I sang in a cover band every weekend for proms, bar mitzvahs, anniversaries, birthday parties and fairs. It was grueling—no fun at all. I took a two-week gig as a waitress…at the carnival at the county fair. I was yelled at, called names, had food thrown at me and was stiffed more times than I could count. It was a brutal year until my dad recovered but I did what I had to do. This trying situation informed my future life and showed me I could get creative when I had to survive. I’m not special—you can and will get through this, too.
There’s a quote that is often misattributed to Eleanor Roosevelt— I don’t know who said it but it has helped me tremendously when things have looked bleak:
“A woman (or man) is like a tea bag— you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”
Here’s to finding gifts of strength and determination during this time of “hot water”. I want you to more than survive— I want you to thrive as you do what you have to do. Stay strong.
If you are experiencing sudden financial crisis and are looking for a solution, non-profit credit counseling can help you make sense of all your options. Contact us today for a free financial assessment with one of our certified credit counselors.
Consumer Education Services, Inc. empowers people to overcome their financial challenges and lead financially-healthy lives.
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