4 Punches To The Gut: Things That Happen To Us That Can Cause Financial Problems

Life happens to all of us. Unfortunately, some of us get hit harder than others. Some things that are notorious for leaving us devastated in their wake are Divorce, Unemployment or Disability, Addictions, and Injury and Sickness.

1) Divorce

Divorce is painful enough already. People’s lives are turned upside down, Children are uprooted from their stable world, and property gets divided between the two spouses and the debts on the vehicles and home may still follow you even if the property is awarded to the other spouse. What’s more, what may have been a dual income family now has only one income. To top it all off, the legal expenses for a contested divorce can be staggering.

2) Unemployment

It costs money to live. Without employment or another source of income, there is no way to pay for the basic expenses of daily living. We have mortgages and car notes to pay. And gasoline burns up very quickly. Even cooking at home rather than eating out costs hundreds of dollars every month. These expenses do not go away just because we may have lost our job. Instead, they just pile up in the form of loans and credit card debt.

3) Addiction

We all enjoy having fun and experiencing the pleasures of life when our work is done. But for some of us, we may become trapped in a vortex of addiction. What may have started off with a pain killer prescribed by a physician, suddenly becomes a never-ending craving for more medicine. Other addictions include alcohol and gambling. Not only does an alcohol addiction cost a lot of money for the alcohol, it directly interferes with our ability to stay employed. While a gambling addiction may not get us intoxicated and interfere with our ability to perform our job functions, it can create an uncontrollable obsession that compels us to roll the dice or pull the lever over and over, all while the odds are calculated to drain our bank accounts. The numbers eventually play out, and if left unchecked, we are left broke and with no way of paying our living expenses. I’ve seen this happen all too often – Huge amounts of money being sucked from the bank accounts of hard-working people, leaving them unable to pay their debts and living expenses.

4) Injuries and Sickness

Injuries and Sickness can quickly change our lives from prosperity to despair. It hits us on both sides: On the one hand, it prevents us from working and earning a living. As with the case of unemployment, the expenses of daily living keep going on. If we are unable to work, these expenses keep mounting up. On the other hand, the injuries and sickness themselves are very expensive. Medical costs for a visit to the emergency room or for medical treatment and therapy can be staggering. Emergency room visits can quickly run into the thousands for a relatively small incident. For more serious injuries, the emergency and hospital bills can run up into the hundreds of thousands or even well over a million dollars. While insurance can help with a lot of this, there are co-pays and high deductibles that need to be met before the insurance even starts to pay. And after that, the insurance frequently pays only a percentage of the medical expense until you have paid a large out of pocket amount. These deductibles and out of pocket requirements renew every year, so even with insurance, medical costs can still set us back financially.

One of the worst parts of these life events is that they can happen suddenly and can catch us unawares. Fortunately, there are things we can do so that when life happens, we can recover and stay in the saddle. In later posts, we will discuss things we can do to help protect ourselves from what life has to dish out.