Dealing With The Unexpected: A Lesson in Adaptation

Dealing With The Unexpected: A Lesson in Adaptation

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Life is always throwing obstacles at us, that’s just the way it goes. It is up to us to be tough and face what we are dealt. Accepting change and adapting is necessary to progress. Whether it’s something as silly as our clothing style adapting to a new dress code, or as deep as our moral compass adapting to a personal family situation.

In the beginning of December, I made a budget for the month. For the first two weeks I was sticking by it without a problem. Then, I learned some disappointing news about my job. Immediately I had to adapt my budget to the new financial situation. During this unstable time, I am being even more frugal than usual. All entertainment is being sacrificed until I am certain of my income once again and my savings has taken a priority over debt repayment.

First, I slashed my gift budget to bits. I told my friends and family that I was postponing Christmas until further notice. Everyone understood the situation. Second, I decided to challenge myself to use all of the groceries I already have before buying more. It being the holiday season has actually helped this challenge along since I have been able to snack on holiday baked goods.

Remember I have been trying to pay off my car? Well, I have put that on hold for now and am focusing on throwing all my extra money into my savings. However, making extra payments previously on my car and student loan, means that I do not have to make a payment this month. After some deliberation, I have decided to take advantage of this. For this month only, I will take that budgeted money and put it in my savings account. Next month, if my situation is the same (hopefully it will not be), I will make the payment just to stay on schedule.

How have you had to adapt your budget to unexpected circumstances?

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One Reply to “Dealing With The Unexpected: A Lesson in Adaptation”

  1. Yes! My old, paid-off car was totaled last summer when a teenager smashed into it from behind. I’d had about $5500 in savings that I could put toward another car, but because the totaled car was old, insurance didn’t cover anywhere near the cost of another car. I tried to look for a used car, but because gas prices were so high (~$4 a gallon in my area) at the time, none as good as the one I lost were available. I was very lucky to stumble upon a new hybrid, which was what I was saving for anyway.

    Coincidentally, the day after the accident I moved to a much smaller and cheaper apartment, which cut my rent in half. So I suppose I swapped my rent payment for my car payment. I paid a lot more than I needed to on the car every month, and just paid it off, a year and a half after purchasing it! In the meantime, though, I cut out shopping for unnecessary items (clothes, shoes, etc) for several, several-month stretches, which helped me replenish my depleted savings account. I also traveled a lot less than I had in the previous year, and did less expensive things (read books, watch rented movies, play board games, bake) instead of going out all the time.

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