We are into the third week of ‘voluntary lockdown’ in Pakistan. Today, I’m talking about something that is on everyone’s minds; Whether we talk about it or not, it is one of the biggest fears. Let us face this second biggest fear during this extended ‘lockdown’. (The first fear is of losing one’s own life or that of a loved one.) Yes, we are going to be facing financial repercussions.
In life, we keep facing ‘new’ challenges anyway. At least this time, we are together in it. Though, the fact remains that in the end, it is a lone battle.
Here are a few points that may help:
Do not confide in others:
I’ve found it is best not to confide in others. Only your closest friends or immediate family, whom you trust completely. Talking to others, only exposes your vulnerability. People respond to the vulnerability of others by exploiting them. They will try it in the garb of helping you.
Vulnerable people get attacked:
You have seen how people taking loans do it with interest, and compounded interest. Ask yourself, ‘Do, I need to get into a worse one?’
Many people suggest things, which they have been successful in, but if you aren’t compatible or comfortable in doing it, then don’t. So, if there is something, you know you can do it, then go ahead. You know what you can do, too.
One rule I learnt from Rich Dad, Poor Dad, ‘never mortgage the house that is the roof over your head.’ No matter what happens, never do that. Otherwise the worst can happen and you will literally end up on the road. At least now you have a roof over your head.
This is why counting your blessings is very important. Appreciate what you have.
Be ready to pay for your mistakes, take this problem as the price you paid for learning this lesson.
Know, ‘This too shall pass.’ Be smarter next time.
While being patient, wait and learn about finances:
You can find strength from my past:
If I look back eight years ago, I had ‘no money’ and lacs of bills to pay. So, I know what I’m talking about!
At that time, I was in a complete financial breakdown. My husband had just died in January. My in-laws had closed all his accounts in his lifetime in December. In February, I had moved into our under-construction house, which had horrendous unpaid bills. (I mean lacs of it.)
That was my situation. Today, the bills and debts are paid, and I’m living a life, in which I help others too. That is only because I know exactly how it feels to be in their situation. No matter what, hopefully you are in a better situation, than mine was. At least you don’t have thousands of dollars’ worth of debts to pay. Yet. (Even if you do, know that it can be paid back.)
So, lets see how it is possible to ‘manage’ a financial crisis:
Faith in Allah:
Faith cannot be emphasized enough. It is about your faith in Him, and His faith in you too. Just as He mentions in last ayat of Surah Baqara. He will only put as much pressure on you according what you can bear. Yes, the Supreme Being believes in you!
Play it straight:
So, if you want Allah’s help, you have to stick to the straight path too! You can’t cheat others and expect Allah’s help! Lately, I’ve heard there are lootings and thefts going on. This isn’t the way, I wish they knew.
I’ve never looked elsewhere. So, whenever someone did help me, I knew the source was my Allah. How He helped me was a true depiction of that ayat: saying I’ll help you from sources you couldn’t imagine. You will experience this too, if you rely on God and His help alone.
How to get out of a financial crisis:
1.Stabilize your thought processes:
Be calm and patient. You cannot make decisions in an agitated state of mind. So, this is why reading Quran or doing anything to get that frame of thought is vital every morning.
2. Get money owed to you:
Secure and look through your papers and files. You will find some money that is owed to you. As we found, that my husband had leant some money. So, we contacted the person. He agreed to pay up soon. I remembered that the Dawn office owed me a couple of cheques, so we got those. Similarly, we hadn’t taken the security back from a school attended by my kid, so that helped.
4. Take back applications with cash:
I had applied for a plot which I had got, but they were demanding more money, for developing charges, so with help of gems in our lives, we got that cash and application back.
5. Sell what you can:
Sold a car, this helped in paying urgent bills.
6. Hold on to assets:
I held on to what was ours, under the toughest circumstances.
7. Use cash from your banks:
An account had some cash, so we got that out.
8. Accept help:
Especially if it comes without your asking. A gem of a friend, just came and put some cash in my hands, as did my aunt. Never asking for it back, but saying, ‘say a word for me on day of Judgement, to Allah’. (Of course, I returned it as soon as possible, but I accepted it.) I also received cash from an unknown resource, which I’ve never known how. May Allah grant all these people the same kind of help when they need it most too. (This is why I want to help others now, without their asking. To repay some of that great gesture done to me.)
9. Continued house construction:
Find ways to continue your interrupted projects.
In my case, Mobeena, the architect offered to pay from her pocket if needed! (She saw how desperate my situation was.) Many others offered to give me cash, but I didn’t accept that. My architect and I continued to complete the project. This was also because in better times, she knew that we paid up. Such trust cannot happen if you have shortchanged people earlier. This house completiong project was essential, so I could repay through rents.
10. Enjoy Allah’s blessings:
If you are healthy, you are have plenty to celebrate. Consciously enjoy all Allah’s blessings.
11. Live a day at a time:
Reduce the time plan: only plan one day at a time. Do not make depressing predictions about the future. These predictions almost always are wrong. Just work an hour at a time, or a day at a time.
12. Continue charity work:
This is why I’m so motivated about the ‘Food Drive’ now-a-days. I know exactly, how they must be feeling, not knowing where the next meal is coming from. These people standing on roadsides today, don’t know either. I know, we can’t feed all, but we can feed a few. (Together we can feed all.) As the restaurant’s cook said, ‘this is our time, to win Allah back, by doing our work in best way.’ This is a funny math, which Allah has promised in Holy Quran, give in charity, and Allah will multiply it for you. He does!
Hopes from China:
As I write, China is taking steps back to ‘normal’ life. So, hopefully it is just a couple of months more.
Let us stay blessed together! ?