The container flew from my hand and crashed on the ground of the farm lot. My husband stood and watched as I unloaded my frustration and anger. My job that day, while my husband was at his off-farm job, had been to visit with the agriculture lender. It had not gone well. A banker’s pen had drawn lines through our spending plan. The lender, the third in a revolving door of employees, had edited our Cash Flow statement to reflect his view of our potential for success. Our hard work and determination not to default on loans had not been acknowledged. There was no sign of a continued partnership, and our communications with the previous loan officer were not in our file. We were expendable as loan clients during the 80’s farm crisis.
Personal finance is not just about numbers – balancing a checkbook or keeping good records. It reflects our values, priorities, and goals. It’s personal. We define who we are as we provide for our families and participate in the communities where we live. This personal investment makes it difficult for us to acknowledge that we have no control over certain outside events – events that sometimes send a wrecking ball through it all. COVID-19 will have this impact on families, just like the Farm Crisis of the 80’s did in rural Iowa.
We survived that unpleasant time. We focused on our priorities and recognized that not all financial lenders would be able to support our goals. When rejection seemed likely, we found new partnerships. When resources became available to reduce our dependence on others, we repaid debts. It took time.
Emotional balance is essential if we are to use our minds to identify solutions and put together steps toward resolving financial problems. Dealing with your feelings is a priority. Communication with family and supportive people can sustain you while you improve your financial situation.
This summer my husband and I will post a Heritage Farm sign on the original 80 acres purchased in 1870 by his Great Great Grandfather. Life events can be survived! Understanding and taking control of finances is a powerful thing, often requiring assistance. Don’t hesitate to find that trustworthy assistance.
Retirement begins for me at the end of this week and I want to thank you for reading the Money Tips blog. I hope you continue to find this a place for financial news, management advice and resources.