I wish I could say that every widow is left financially set but in truth the death of a spouse can leave a lot of widows financially broke.
Reality is harsh and I know you didn’t ask for this. It’s hard enough to handle our grief without worrying about money but I’m not going to lie to you and say “it will all work out” because sometimes it just doesn’t.
Banks don’t care about our grief and credit card companies still want their payments. You can stay in denial or get tough and take control.
1. The sooner you accept your money troubles the sooner you will start to live frugally – redefining what is necessary and what is a luxury. TV commercials lie and the “Joneses” aren’t worth comparing yourself to.
2. Don’t put yourself down for being poor and start taking pride in your ability to control your spending. Taking pride with who you are and not what you own.
3. Credit cards sell out your future for a better life in the moment. Don’t buy now and pay later, instead save now and buy later. The answer is simple: destroy all but one card and work to pay off any existing balances.
4. Financial decisions, taxes, insurance, housing etc. are hard decisions for you to master on your own. Find a trusty adviser to steer you through the money maze. Make sure to get professional help with your first years taxes as there may be deductions or credits that you don’t know about.
5. Considering moving to a cheaper place? With all the upheaval in your life, can you deal with moving as well? On the other hand, does your current home hold too many sad memories? Can you afford to stay when you need a fresh start with lower payments? Moving is not an easy issue – weigh the pros and cons, and get some good advice before making your decision.
6. Sometimes, there is no way out and you are faced with bankruptcy. If you have cut expenses to the bone and you still can’t pay your bills, then look into it. Get sound legal advice and see if it’s right for you. It’s a way to get back on your feet again, so use it if you have to and don’t feel ashamed of what you can’t control.