#FML Finance

Source: Erin Nekervis via Flickr under a Creative Commons license

Source: Erin Nekervis via Flickr under a Creative Commons license

[Ed. note: Stefanie of thebrokeandbeautifullife.com wrote this.  You might want to get the kids out of the room; bad word coming in 3…2…]

Fuck My Life!  Ever have those moments when it comes to your finances?  Maybe it’s in the form of an angry scream or an exasperated sigh or a defeated cry.  The hash tag expression so perfectly captures that feeling of financial frustration and uncertainty.

When “shit happens” there’s a tendency to react one of two ways.  The first is to wallow, which leads to stewing in self-pity and crippling inaction (which doesn’t help anyone). The second, is to have a strong, emotional, knee-jerk response, which rarely leads to good decision-making.

To effectively deal with #FML moments, action needs to be taken as a result of calculated, rational thinking rather than motivated by emotional response.  Here are some real-life #FML situations you may have had the unfortunate “privilege” of experiencing.

Debt

When you see the full amount of your student loans and consumer debts on paper it’s easy to wallow in a pool of #FML.  Unfortunately, a lot of people do just that; choosing not to deal with it and resigning themselves to treading water, making minimum payments for the rest of their lives.  Setting goals and mapping out a plan of action is the only way to escape the clutches of #FML forever.

Job Loss

An unexpected job loss is a total “Fuck My Life” moment.  But after acknowledging the situation with copious amounts of alcohol (or however you self-placate), you have to move past the #FML hangover.

Emergency

Emergencies are #FML moments where people tend to respond with action motivated by emotions like fear or anxiety; clouding judgment and potentially leading to poor decision making.  To stay financially grounded in the face of an emergency, it’s important to have a solid support system and trusted counsel that can help with those decisions.

Scams/ Fraud/ Identity Theft

All of these suck, but wasting time with “fuck my life” is not helpful.  In each of these situations, time is of the essence and action needs to be taken immediately to stop any further damage.

Stock Dive

There’s nothing like the urge to yell curses and sell off stock when it takes a tumble, but that’s probably not the best strategy long term.  Rather than frantically looking for a quick way to make up your loss, it’s better to sit down and take a rational look at what caused it before choosing a course action (which may be to do nothing).

Not Enough Money

This is the kind of #FML I see people carry around with them in the day to day.  It’s not the split second heated reaction to an emergency or loss, it’s the ever-present negative dialogue that keeps people on the hamster wheel of “just getting by”.  Focus revolves around “fuck my life” rather than on goals and actions that can change financial circumstances into something to celebrate.

 

Have you ever experienced any #FML finance moments?  How did you respond?  What could you have done better?

———-

Stefanie O’Connell is a New York City based actress and freelance writer. She chronicles her struggle to “live the dream” on a starving artists’ budget at thebrokeandbeautifullife.com.

[Also, she curses a lot more than I do -Ed.]

Comments

  1. says

    Hilarious post! I think the most memorable #FML finance moment was when I realized I owed nearly $3K in taxes. My husband and I thought we made the right move in filing separately, but we must have overlooked something BIG because after we filed his taxes, I worked on mine and was hit with that news. We ended up filing an amendment and then re-filing our taxes together but STILL had to pay a hefty tax. We both changed our withholdings and haven’t had to pay taxes since.
    Kendal @HassleFreeSaver recently posted…Consignment: Is It Worth It?My Profile

  2. says

    Laugh, Thanks for writing this! Sometimes I feel my whole life is an #FML moment. Like you say though, it’s important to sift through all the emotion and chaos that seems to come with these kinds of moments but a cool head and careful though can see most people through the tough times.

  3. says

    Of course! I’ve had too many to name. Of course the biggest one for me and my financial rock bottom is when my car got towed and I had to spend the same amount of money to get my car out as the last check I received from a client which I was desperate to get. There was a lot of #FML along with some #tears as well. :)
    Tonya@Budget & the Beach recently posted…Should I Stay or Should I Go?My Profile

  4. says

    I like to go with a bit of wallowing (I find a small amount is good for the soul) then suck it up and figure out what, if anything, can be done. And yes, sometimes the wallowing takes place under the covers. You have to accept your feelings as much as the situation or you end up exploding later.

  5. says

    I have #FML moments every time I pay my student loans. I’m having an #FML moment right now, as it turns out I might OWE the government instead of getting a refund. I didn’t accurately account for my 1099 side hustle income and now I might owe a grand — pretty much the amount that is in my EF :(
    Dear Debt recently posted…What is your earliest money memory?My Profile

  6. says

    First of all, I LOVE a girl who is not afraid to use “adult” language :-) and I think that honestly, there are some moments that call for harsher language such as #FML finance moments. For me, it was not having a big enough emergency fund. In my defense, no one ever told me what it should be, and when I was in between jobs, I realized how much I really needed a robust emergency fund, so now I have made it one of my life goals to help other people not have #FML finance moments. :-)
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted…Top Ten Movies About LoveMy Profile

  7. says

    haha too many to count. A real FML one was when my card was cloned, probably in Mexico, and people started withdrawing cash from Colombia, while I was in Paris. Thankfully I was in the city my bank is and able to get a new one quickly, otherwise you have to wait for them to ship it and in the meanwhile you have no card.
    Pauline recently posted…The French approach to debtMy Profile

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