That's the first thing I learned when I moved out on my own. This fact became painfully amplified when I started supporting my family.
You start out having a safety net to fall back on that includes your parents, friends, or extended family. Then that drops back to banks and credit cards. Then your last line of defense, payday loans, and pawn shops. If you have ever gone into a pawn shop or payday loan lender, there tends to be a feeling of embarrassment or failure that goes along with it.
"How did I end up here?"
"Why did this happen to me?"
"Why does it cost $500 or more to fix anything that goes wrong with my car?"
Sound familiar? Well I'm here to tell you, THIS IS LIFE. Expect that bad things are going to happen, and trust me, no one is immune. At some point in everyone's life, things suck. You have 2 choices: look at it like a challenge to overcome or throw in the towel. I've never been much of a towel throwing in type of guy, so here are some tips.
Leave embarrassment at the door
What you look like in front of other people doesn't matter. Let me repeat that, What you look like in front of other people doesn't matter!
Your neighbors, your family, your friends, your kids teachers, the postman, I really don't care who it is. These people aren't paying your bills or supporting your family, YOU ARE!
If you aren't prepared to sacrifice a little dignity and pride, you picked the wrong planet to live on. Every situation I've ever gone into, I've repeated these words over and over in my head, "The worst they can do is say no". Seriously, that's the worst they can do. If they say no, just say "Thanks", and walk back out the door. No one has ever been arrested for asking a question.
This is such a simple thing, but you would be amazed at how many people can't do it. Something you have to remember, everybody likes dealing with someone who is understanding, patient, and polite. The people behind the counter are human beings, just like you. They have their own lives and getting frustrated with them won't solve any of your problems. In general, I've found that the nicer I am, and the easier I make it on them, the more they bend over backwards to accommodate me. Extra days to pay, staying open 5 minutes later because I was running late, all because I was nice. It always seemed strange to me to argue with someone who is loaning me money.
Always return phone calls
This kind of goes along with being nice. If you are past due on something, not talking to your lender just makes things worse. In my experience, they are always willing to work something out with you. When they never hear from you is when they start taking drastic action. I worked in car collections when start out my career. It would never fail. I would call a person for 2 months straight and never speak to them. Guess what happened after their car got repossessed? They couldn't call me fast enough. Avoiding the problem only made it worse. If they would have called and worked out arrangements, they would have probably still been driving their car. Contrary to what some people think, car lenders DON'T WANT YOUR CAR! The average loss on a repossession is $5000.00. They would much rather you keep driving and paying for your car.
Hopefully these tips will help you get mentally prepared to tackle whatever comes your way financially. I've found that internal strength beats external strength everyday of the week.
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