We all know how the current financial conditions have affected almost everyone in our country and around the world. People have lost jobs, homes, cars, and savings. Life looks bleak and for some there will be no way to recoup their losses, at least not to what they had before the financial nightmare happened. Most people believe the financial breakdown started in 2008 and I would agree, to a point. The financial breakdown showed its face to us in 2008 but it did not begin in 2008.
Like any problem or issue in life such as the current financial conditions, they do not just pop up, or ‘happen’. Bad things were happening long before 2008. Mortgage brokers and bankers were approving bad loans long before 2008. Buyers were shopping for and being approved for homes they really could not afford, and the stock market, well the stock market was just going through a typical cycle.
The fact is, everything, including life, is cyclical. If you are old enough to look back over the last 20 or 30 years of your life you will see that even your individual life was cyclical. You made it through the tough times that occurred even when those tough times happened at the hand of someone other than yourself. The financial loss you may have suffered since 2008, made you either sink or swim. If you swam and did not sink, it should have taught you how to ‘live a new normal’. What is a new normal? Learning to live on quite a bit less than you used to, and appreciating the fact that you have a job. This includes having to live without certain things that you may have previously taken for granted, and having the best possible attitude about your changed situation.
The fact is, there may be days when you may feel sorry for yourself, but you get over it and keep pushing through until things turn around. You learn how to brew your own coffee at home instead of stopping for that daily $4 cup on the way to work. You learn how to make your own lunch instead of paying between $5 and $10 per day for lunch. You play little games like treating yourself to lunch once or twice per month or buying yourself a little treat here and there to help you keep your chin up.
Two important thing to do during this time though, is to never give up and to keep putting something away for yourself in savings and in retirement. It sounds crazy because you may have just lost everything, but the fact is, life goes on. You cannot make the excuse 20 or 30 years from now that you could not save anything because there was a crash in 2008. You may have been able to save $5,000.00 per year before your life crashed and can now only save $2,000, $1,000.00, or even $500.00. You cannot live off the crash of 2008, you cannot live off of the pitfalls of life, but you can live off of doing the best you can with what you have left. And who knows, because just like the market, life is cyclical, your new normal may be the best thing that ever happened to you.