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How to Bounce Back From an Unexpected Emergency

Life can be rough. Whether we like it or not, bad things will happen. It’s inevitable.

  • People get sick
  • Our cars break down
  • Our kids get injured

Far too often, people are impacted by an unfortunate event, which drives them into debt. And then they do nothing… They just keep that debt around forever. This is obviously not the best plan. You’ve got to figure out how to bounce back from an unexpected emergency!

How to Bounce Back From an Unexpected Emergency

This post has been written by our talented staff writer, Kimberly Studdard.

So how do you bounce back from an unexpected emergency financially? While it may seem difficult, there are many ways you can do so.

bounce back from an emergencyFace The Problem

As much as you may not want to, it’s important to face the crisis you are experiencing. If you hide from it, or try to avoid it at all costs, it’s just going to get worse. Identify the issue, and decide how, and why you are going to tackle it.

It may be that your home flooded, or that you are going through a divorce. It may be that student loans are piling up quicker than you thought. But whatever it is, by facing the problem, you are making the active decision to fix it as well. This should be the first step on your journey to bounce back from an unexpected emergency.

Create A Bare-Bones Budget

Now is not the time to be going out to eat or shopping for clothes. Even if these are stress relievers for you, it’s important now more than ever, to have and implement a bare-bones budget.

So what is bare-bones? Basically, a bare-bones budget means only spending your money on necessities. So bills, debt minimums (if any), groceries, and gas to get to and from work would be considered a necessity. Going out to eat, getting your nails done, and purchasing girl scout cookies are not a necessity.

By creating a bare-bones budget, you may be able to get a little wiggle room in your budget, which then means extra money you can save or spend on your unexpected emergency.

Hustle, Hustle, Hustle

If you already work a full-time job or raise kids, you may think it’s hard to pick up a side hustle. But short term sacrifices can equal long-term gain. Think about it this way. Would you rather dig yourself further into debt and pay on it for years, or be tired for a few months at your second job? I’ll always choose the latter.

Sometimes, you don’t even have to leave home for your side hustle! You can take surveys for gift cards, become a virtual assistant, or any other number of online side hustles.

Ask For Help

If you are truly in a bind, it’s okay to ask for help. Things happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to blame and punish yourself. There are so many resources out there, locally and nationally, that can help you bounce back from an unexpected emergency.

Need food to eat? Go to a food pantry. Need clothes for your kids to wear? Try out donation centers or your local church. There is always help if you need it, so don’t be too proud to ask for it. In all honesty, this could help you bounce back from an unexpected emergency quicker than someone who can’t put their pride down. And that’s exactly what you want! Just remember to pay it forward if and when you can.

Stay Motivated

It can be hard to stay motivated in times of hardship. If you have to take a breather, go for a walk, or even just sit in your car and cry for a minute, do so. But don’t lose the motivation to get yourself out of a bad situation. Life happens, but you can keep pushing and striving to bounce back.

In The Future: Have An Emergency Fund

To keep yourself from having to bounce back from an unexpected emergency, take the time to prepare for one! Having an emergency fund can be the difference between financial hardship and having the cash to pay for an emergency. While $1,000 is typically recommended for the basic emergency fund, I actually recommend trying to save 3-6 months of living expenses, or more if you are able too.

You’ll never guess how often an emergency fund has saved my finances. In fact, just last month I had to dip into mine. Someone broke three of my cars windows while robbing it. If my husband and I didn’t have an emergency fund, we would have had to rely on credit cards or a loan (or not be able to fix our windows). But instead, we reluctantly shelled over the $500 deductible to pay for our windows to be fixed. Did it suck? Yes. But it didn’t break us. Instead, we were able to bounce back from an unexpected emergency, AND keep ourselves from getting into debt.

No matter what, trying to bounce back from an unexpected emergency isn’t fun. But with these tips, it will make it just a little bit easier.

Budget Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I have a budget and emergency fund but there is something above that should be added. We should talk to our families, especially parents about funeral plans. If you are the “responsible one” in the family you could potentially be left with a huge bill to pay. I am dealing with this now. 3-6 months emergency fund could be wiped out over night.

    • Sorry to hear about your loss. If you know your parents have absolutely no money, then yes, be prepared to pay for funeral expenses yourself. But, be sure to not make the same mistake as they did. Invest, invest, invest! And never burden your children with your retirement or funeral costs.

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