What would you do if you lost everything – money, assets, everything you’ve been saving for and building towards? Would you survive financial oblivion or would you be completely undone?
None of us are immune to financial catastrophe. We can lose our jobs, our businesses can fail, we can default on our mortgages, our savings can be eaten up by unexpected expenses and we may find ourselves faced with having to start from scratch.
My family went through this in 2009 shortly after the financial crisis began. We lost every single cent and we are still trying to rebuild our lives four years later. Ten years of savings, mortgage payments, car payments and superannuation contributions were gone thanks to our business failing and a stupid decision to give a personal guarantee against our home to secure the business loan.
Do you think it couldn’t happen to you? What would you do?
My husband and I always knew our business may not be the success we dreamed it would be but we also knew that if the worst ever happened, we could just start over. It’s been such a learning experience that we can now honestly say we are happy we lost everything. The lessons we learned are invaluable but more than that – we learned that when the shit hits the fan, we both put our heads down and our bums up and get back to work. We are very calm in a crisis and we are pretty damn proud of ourselves for surviving it, marriage intact.
When we started experiencing financial problems my husband would always say, “Don’t worry, if worse comes to worse we can both get out and find jobs. Employability is the best insurance, better than savings.”
With our financial slate wiped clean we emerged battered and bruised but very clear on a few things – we were done with personal debt, we would become excellent savers, we wouldn’t rush into another mortgage and we’d structure our spending much more carefully than ever before.