Let’s examine two of the most common financial challenges people face.
Losing your job ranks among life’s most stressful events—not just for you but for your spouse as well if you are married. Meet together as soon as possible after the job loss, and discuss ways to minimize the emotional and financial toll on both of you. And encourage each other because often a job loss is a blessing in disguise: God may bring you a better career opportunity. In the meantime, your faith can grow as you experience Him providing your needs even without a job.
Next, formulate a game plan for the job search – from drafting a resume to networking with friends. When you lose a job, your fulltime job should be finding a new job.
In addition to cutting back on spending for discretionary items, keep two financial goals in mind. First, make every effort to avoid using debt for living expenses. Many people mask the real situation by using debt to fund current spending. Make good, hard decisions not to spend one penny you don’t have to. Every borrowed penny must be repaid with interest, and although spending it is easy, repayment is always hard work.
Second, do what you can to maintain health insurance. You may be able to assume your health insurance coverage through a plan from your former employer. If not, get advice from others on cost-efficient coverage.
Illness or accident
If you suffer a major illness or accident, it’s a double whammy. Medical expenses pile on as income plunges. If the condition is severe enough to prevent future employment, you will need to make permanent adjustments. And if either health insurance or disability coverage is inadequate, it can be financially catastrophic.
If married, be prepared for the possibility that one of you may need to make important decisions without the benefit of input from the other. Bev and I have decided that if one of us is seriously ill, the other will make the financial and health-related decisions. We are each familiar with the location of all important records and know how to use them.
Don’t be embarrassed to make your needs known to your family, friends, and church. Extend to them the opportunity to help meet your needs. Giving to those in need is a big part of what it means to follow Christ. Galatians 6:2 reminds us, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Preparing for future storms
You can’t prevent every difficulty, but you can prepare to survive them by building a solid relationship with the Lord—and your spouse, if you are married, —and by improving your finances. The healthier your finances, the better you will be able to cope. Proverbs 27:12 says, “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
The more time you spend getting to know God and what He reveals in the Bible – and applying what you’ve learned – the better prepared you will be to weather life’s storms.