Life after a financial crisis

Financial crisis can effect households not only financially but also emotional and socially.

Many households were impacted by the great recession. People lost their jobs and consequently several also lost their homes. After such events, families face altered financial lifestyles. This frequently can lead to other issues that affect emotions and in some cases social life. Becoming aware and learning to deal with these experiences can influence your outlook on the situations. 

During financial crisis, it is normal for household members to feel a great sense of loss. These feelings parallels with the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) described by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Different people express the stages in different ways and for different lengths of time. All the stages are normal and in some cases some people may go through the same stage more than once. For example, if a family experiences foreclosure, one person may deny that they are unable to afford their home in their new financial situation. Another member of the same household may become so overwhelmed that they withdraw and become stressed. Still, another may go quickly through the stages and start making the preparations to transition from owning a home to a new housing arrangement.

It’s difficult to cope successfully during financial crisis. Here are some suggestions that may possibly help you endure, during difficult times. 

  • Accept the loss. Look at your situation and accept that this is your current reality.
  • Acknowledge and understand what has been lost. The loss of the way you use to live financially can be very difficult to accept and we dwell on what we had. If you can stop, recognize and acknowledge the loss, you can start planning your future and move forward.
  • Build a support system. Identify people you trust and seek support from them.
  • Look at your situation from a different perspective. You may find that there are other options or ideas that can help you cope and again move forward.
  • Discover what you can learn from your situation. Often there are opportunities to learn when in a crisis situation that stay with us. Take advantage of those opportunities.

Learning coping and problem solving skills, managing family stress, and improving family communication are some ways to successfully move forward after financial crisis.

Michigan State University Extension offers a number of educational programs including programs on financial management and housing education. Visit where there are a number of educational materials and resources available for free.

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