How to overcome financial setbacks

Girl stepping across large space between two large green cliffs.
OCCU  -  01.18.2023

The past few years have brought many bumps in the road. Between COVID-19 and inflation, interest rate changes and the looming recession, we’re all living through a financially challenging time — and each of us is experiencing it in our own way.

If you’re heading into the new year feeling less optimistic than usual, you’re not alone. It’s hard to feel hopeful about what the new year will bring when you’re dealing with a financial setback. And that’s OK. Whatever you’re feeling in this uncertain economy, it’s enough to simply take a moment to acknowledge where you are and accept the changes or setbacks that have brought you to this point.

In the midst of all these financial challenges, the changing of the calendar year may not be quite the beacon of hope you’re used to. But it can still serve as a powerful reminder that life is cyclical. Sooner or later, the cycle will move you past these obstacles.

There’s a lot happening in the world that’s out of our control right now, particularly when it comes to money. But as tennis champion Andre Agassi said: “Control what you can control.” By accepting the things you can’t control and focusing your energy on the things you can, you’ll be able to work with the economic cycle and accelerate your recovery from a financial setback.

The OCCU team is here to help. After spending 67 years providing financial services to our community, we’ve seen a lot of economic cycles come and go. As your dedicated financial partner, we’re here to support you on your journey with the best wisdom we can offer to help you through this challenging time. Here’s what we’ve learned through decades of experience helping our members overcome their financial setbacks.

Accept the reality

Denying or worrying about your problems won’t make them go away. The sooner you face your difficulties head-on, the sooner you can begin charting a course toward recovery. So take a breath, acknowledge where you are, and make a commitment to yourself to keep moving forward toward success.

Take stock of your resources

When times are hard, it’s important to know what resources you have at your fingertips. We’re not just talking about cataloging your financial assets, but also knowing where you can turn for help. As a credit union member, you’ve got more than just a financial institution on your side. At OCCU, we’re a community of people helping people — and we’ve got your back no matter what’s happening with the economy. Whenever you need a hand, just remember that ours is always extended for you.

Consider the best way forward

When you’re feeling financially stressed, your first impulse may not always be the best one. That’s why it’s so important to pause and consider your situation before making any major changes. Maybe you need to find a new path forward. Or maybe your best move is simply to stay the course with your current financial plan. If you’re not sure what to do, our financial team is always available to talk to you about your situation and help you determine the best course of action.

Give yourself time

Financial recovery doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to get your finances back on track, and each of us is on our own timeline. It doesn’t do any good to compare yourself to where others are or stress yourself out because you’re not bouncing back as quickly as you think you should. Make whatever plans or changes you think are necessary, and then allow your journey to unfold in its own time.

Keep your wellness at the forefront

Financial wellness isn’t about how much money you have. It’s about feeling secure in your financial future while making choices that allow you to enjoy life. It’s a holistic approach to money that encompasses your personal and mental wellness as well as your bank account.

Wellness comes from within, not without, so make it a priority to take care of yourself while also meeting your financial obligations. Whatever money plans you make right now, ensure they support your long-term financial wellness.

Whatever financial setbacks you’ve experienced recently, you will get through this. And you don’t have to do it alone. We’re all in this together, as people helping people. You can always count on OCCU to help you move forward toward a better financial future.