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- You collected my parents’ car when I was a teenager, and it taught me how to get through a financial crisis.
- I had to go to traffic school to reduce the premium, which taught me to look for ways to cut costs.
- You’ve also learned how to make temporary lifestyle changes to overcome them when money is tight.
When I was a teenager, I accidentally collected my mother’s car two weeks before Christmas. was bad. Like, “Bent axle, smashed rear end, never going anywhere using her power again, cops had to drive me home” is bad.
Ironically, the Christmas gift I received from my father that year would be my very own set of car keys. Instead, I got to traffic school and ride the bus for the rest of the school year.
After the reports were submitted to the police and Insurance companyMy parents sat down to make a plan. I would have been part of that plan. My parents were upset about losing a car, but it wasn’t the end of the world my dramatic teenage self thought of. We made a plan to come back from this financial loss together, and the lessons I learned from her will benefit me for the rest of my life.
I’ve learned to find ways to cushion the financial blow
Part of the plan was that I would attend traffic school. The insurance company agreed to reduce the premium increase that usually comes when a teen driver has an accident if you go. Traffic school (before it was even done online) was incredibly boring and painfully embarrassing. However, through experience, I have learned to look for ways to reduce the damage caused by financial failure.
Fast forward years later even when I was newly married and in my last year of college. To my dismay, I discovered that my new husband had accidentally forgotten to pay a bunch of bills…for months. Some even went to groups.
Remembering my father’s good example, I decided not to kill my new husband and put my problem-solving skills to work to get us out of debt. I called the companies he owes to make payment plans or to see if I can negotiate a discount if we pay in full. In less than a year, it was Debt has been paid And we were free.
I’ve also learned that making temporary lifestyle changes can help you weather a financial storm
Another part of my father’s plan was that I would take the bus to and from school because the accident left us without a car I could use. Anyone who has ever been in high school knows that it is inappropriate to be on the bus when you are old enough to drive. I grumbled, but my parents held that that’s how it should be so we could buy another car. So it was the bus.
Not as ingenious though, I knew that during a financial downturn, some things you wanted might have to wait. It may be necessary to change the way you do things for a while, but the ultimate recovery and financial freedom are worth the sacrifice.
This lesson certainly served me well during college. I walked, shopped at secondhand stores, looked for free things to do on the weekend, and ate a ton of peanut butter and jelly, but managed to graduate without debt.
It was more beneficial a few years later after business investments had plummeted. My husband’s business partners turned against him and left him and us with no income and most of the debts. We struggled with what to do, and reluctantly came to a conclusion, for it Freeing ourselves from the mountain of debtWe’ll have to sell our house and live in an RV trailer for a while. It was cramped, uncomfortable, and hard on our kids, but it worked. We paid off our debts quickly and were soon able to buy a new home and make a fresh start.
I think the most important lesson I learned from the aftermath of the car accident is not to be afraid. This was a problem that could be resolved. At first, I was scared and a little shocked, but my father showed me that all was not lost. Eventually they got a new car and I was eventually allowed to drive again.
Our plan to cut costs and change our lifestyle a bit allowed my family to come back from this together, and I was right in the middle of it. I have learned to be physically and mentally resilient, but this experience has taught me that I can also be financially resilient as well.