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rebbel's avatar

How do you react to a sudden financial blow?

Asked by rebbel (23522 points ) August 22nd, 2011

Imagine you open an IRS envelope and in it is the message that you have to pay (back) a substantial amount of money (lets say, $3000/£2000).
You don’t have the means to pay this (in one time).
Can you tell me how your first reaction would be apart from screamning “WTF!”, in the seconds/minutes after opening it.
Panic? Crying? Calmly call your mum?
Something else?

Edit: What I am (also) after is what steps will you take after the initial scare?

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18 Answers

cookieman's avatar

Very first words exclaimed: “Muthafuckin’, dick-sucking, whore!”
I save this for such occasions. It’s special.

Coloma's avatar

I just experienced this in the last 10 days. Nothing huge, but, in helping my daughter ‘rescue’ a stray cat, well, 10 days and $375 later, and the cat didn’t work out. haha

Adoption fee, cat pheromones, and paying my daughters pet deposit at her apartment and buying her a cat condo. So much for mamas weekend get away. lol

All you CAN do is make small payments, cut your losses, and move on. I did have a few pissy days, but yeah..WTF? What is, is.

Cruiser's avatar

I call my accountant and let him sort it out. It wouldn’t be the first time the IRS has made an error!

jonsblond's avatar

We went through a major financial blow this weekend, but it isn’t the IRS.

Heart pounds from stress.
Call mom and dad.
Head hurts from stress.
Cry a little.
Hope to not have heart attack or stoke.
Hug my husband.

(Our family would seriously be fucked right now if it wasn’t for the support of our parents and other family members.)

What steps do we take to get by? Get rid of any and all unnecessary expenses until we get back on our feet.

Blackberry's avatar

Make a drink.

YoBob's avatar

Ok, after calling my accountant and asking him what the “F” I’m paying him for, I would proceed to create a brilliantly worded question on Fluther asking why we should not be moving from an income tax to a consumption tax. And then brace myself for the usual ridiculous retorts about how what we really need to do is punish the evil rich for having the audacity to be successful.

JLeslie's avatar

If I don’t have the means to pay it I would be very stressed. Eventually I would call the IRS or my accountant if I have one, to explain to me why I have to pay if I do not understand, and ask if I can pay it over time, and what the penalties might be for a slower payment.

If it happened to me now, I would also want to know why, and then I would write the check and forget about it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

If it was the IRS give them a call. They’re pretty good to work with. If it’s someone else, I’d join Blackberry and drink to excess.

jonsblond's avatar

Yeah, I forgot to add beer on my list. What’s another $15 when you are already screwed.

ucme's avatar

I genuinely can’t think of the last time this happened to me, except when I was a kid & had my pocket money temporarily suspended. I must have done something deserving of such a sanction & from what I can remember, my reaction was one of pure unadulterated petulance. If this were to be repeated now, albeit on a larger scale, i’d probably react in a similar way, only this time with more venom.

flutherother's avatar

I’d want to know how the hell this could have happened and I’d make sure that if the IRS insisted on repayment that they make it on easy payment affordable terms.

Scooby's avatar

First off, if it’s their mistake… fuck em…… if it’s your mistake, you are fucked….. I ounce got a quarterly gas bill for £85,950.00.…… It should have been £85.95. The gas board at first were a little reluctant to admit a mistake had been made on their part :-/
You could have knocked me over with a feather…….

filmfann's avatar

It seems I am constantly reevaluating what we can and cannot afford. In one month I have find $2000 for something we haven’t budgeted for. All you can do is nod, say “thank you sir! May } have another?” And move on.

Hibernate's avatar

Something else. When I receive this sort of news I prefer focusing on something else in the next few hours then return over it to think about it. And this because I made one mistake at one time when a friend offered to help, I said it was okay then I found out it’s really annoying to hear “yo gimmeh ma money”. So i let the news enter in my mind slow but focusing on other things.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I cry and then dig my heels in to get it taken care of. Any time this has happened then it’s because of something I already knew needed attention like a tire finally blowing out or dog needing a tooth pulled.

YARNLADY's avatar

The example you have given would require a lawyer, because we don’t make that kind of mistake.

We keep having small ones. I want/need a new pool heater ($3,000) – our last one quit working and was removed two years age. Just as I was trying to find the best deal for us, my grandson totaled one of our cars. He wasn’t seriously hurt, but the insurance coverage was far below the replacement cost of similar car. In fact – it was so close to the cost of a new heater, I was shocked.

Finally, we were just about ready to start looking for a new heater, now the end of the swimming season, and prices dropped. Then our tree died a dramatic death, dropping two major branches into the street. The price to have the tree cut down – you guessed it, the same price as the new pool heater.

We bought a house for our son and his family. He had a good job, and was supposed to make the monthly payments. Three months later, he lost his job, and has only been employed on temp jobs since then, four years. Luckily, we were careful enough to buy a house we could actually afford to pay for ourselves, but it has been a very heavy burden, and I have had to do without many things I wanted.

None of this has ever threatened our primary house, or our general well being.

Blondesjon's avatar

@jonsblond . . . jesus christ woman! do you every think of anything else besides your precious godamned beer?

filmfann's avatar

@Blondesjon and @jonsblond Don’t fight in front of the fluther kids!

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