There’s no question that financial complications can trigger a lot of anxiety in our lives. Frequently worrying about how you’re going to pay your bills not only makes you anxious, but also puts stress on your relationships, your family, and your health. The fact is, worrying about money isn’t going to fix your financial concerns. If you’ve found yourself in a position where you’re straining to make ends meet, here are the best ways to manage your financial problems so you can live a stress-free life again.
Write down your monthly expenses
The first step in managing your financial difficulties is find out exactly where your pain points are. Whether or not you’re dealing with a large credit card balance, you’re attempting to increase your retirement savings, or you simply spend too much on eating out during the week, discovering the main causes of your financial concerns will reveal to you which expenditures must be prioritised so you can get your finances back on track. Grab a pen and paper and document your current monthly expenditures including food, bills, debt repayments, transport, tuition, and any other items you usually spend each month.
Decrease your expenditures
When you’ve got your monthly expenditures in front of you, take a closer look and see which expenses can be minimised and which can be cut out altogether. While your mortgage repayments certainly can’t be decreased, you can possibly decrease your food bill by only eating at home and even get rid of other entertainment expenses such as cable TV. It’s significant that you are pragmatic about decreasing your expenses. Keep in mind, if you’re trying to overcome financial difficulties then you must make sacrifices to resolve them.
Create a budget
Now that you’ve got your monthly expenses jotted down without the unnecessary spending, you need to set up a budget. If you’re unfamiliar with developing a budget, there are lots of terrific apps you can download on your mobile phone. Personally, I’ve found the Budget Planning app from ASIC to be very valuable: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/calculators-and-apps/budget-planner.
This will enable you to ascertain how much money you have left each month by reviewing your income and expenses. It’s paramount that you stick your budget. If you feel that it could be too challenging to do this, add a miscellaneous item to your budget to give you some room to breathe, or even a motivation item to reward yourself at the end of the month for following your budget.
Prioritise your debts
Some debts cause more distress than others, so to relieve your financial stress as best as possible, aim to reduce your biggest debts first. Not only will you be saving money by paying less interest, you’ll also feel much better about yourself. Only paying the minimum repayments on your credit card bill can sometimes take years to pay off, so attempt to lower these kinds of debts as soon as possible. Always remember, you still have other fixed debts each month including phone bills and electricity, so these need to be factored in too.
Still feeling the heat?
If you’ve cut down your expenditures and made a budget but still find that there’s not enough money to settle all your debts, you’ll need to find other income sources. Are you able to work a second job? Can you sell any expensive household items that you can do without? Reaching out to family or friends is another reliable way to attempt to resolve your issues. Whatever you do to get extra money, never get a personal loan from the bank to settle your existing debt – this will only magnify an already stressful situation.
Seek financial assistance
If the above steps haven’t relieved your financial stress, it’s better to seek financial assistance sooner rather than later. Depending on your individual situation, there are lots of alternatives available such as debt consolidation loans or debt agreements which can help those in need. Don’t wrestle with your debts for years before seeking assistance, speak to Bankruptcy Experts Taree on 1300 795 575 or visit our website for additional information: www.bankruptcyexpertstaree.com.au