As the Director of Affiliate Relations at HomeFree-USA, I’ve always been fascinated with how people handle their money. Like everyone else, I’ve had my financial ups and downs. In fact, it took me 32 months to pay off $32,000 in credit card bills and build up a six-month emergency fund. While that was a very difficult period, I am grateful – and wiser -- for the experience.
Through my personal experiences and working at HomeFree-USA, I’ve gained a ton of insight that I feel compelled to share. You’ll find those lessons here. Feel free to take the thoughts and ideas that resonate with you most and put aside the rest for later. I look forward to sharing my journey.
Be magnanimous with your material losses
1. very generous or forgiving, especially toward a rival or someone less powerful than oneself.
How often have you been robbed of things that you worked hard for?
I have a lot of family in New Orleans, and the scars of Hurricane Katrina will never quite go away. Still, they recognized the futility in wallowing, so they returned to their city to be part of its resurgence. They decided to grow in spite of a challenge that they had no control over. They decided to be magnanimous.
It's happened to everyone at least once: You were doing the right thing when something unexpected robbed you of your financial stability. So what do you do?
Forgive. In their own way, the one who's robbed you has or will suffer far more for taking something that isn't theirs. You should certainly fight to keep what's rightfully yours, but if it's a losing battle, let it go and remember that there's more where that came from. You can rebuild.
Take a moment. If something tragic happened in your life, I officially give you permission to take a moment and wallow in it. It sucks. And now it's time to move on.
Begin rebuilding. Now that you've gotten the emotional stuff out of the way (if only it were that easy,) focus on what you need to do to adjust your world. This is likely a temporary experience so get on a serious budget, find a side hustle, and cut your expenses. I guarantee you there's at least one thing you can spend less on.
Release the attachment. If it's an item you've lost, including your home, remember that these are material possessions, and though you may not get it back, there's a good chance it'll give way to something better. You can only be open to that by letting go.
Learn from the experience. Did you leave your car unlocked with your laptop visible? Were you aware that the person you loaned money to also owed every other member of your family, creditors, and some friends as well? Even if there's no way you could have changed the outcome, try to find a lesson in the circumstances and use that to grow.
Be magnanimous. My mother doesn't forget anything, but she always forgives. She's also one of the most generous people I know, and recognizes that whatever she gives away returns to her, multiplied abundantly. So she shares. And she and my dad, in spite of many things not going their way, are the happiest people I know.
And so it is.