There’s no question that financial issues can trigger a lot of anxiety in our lives. Continually thinking about how you’re going to pay your bills not only makes you apprehensive, but also places stress on your relationships, your family, and your health. The fact is, stressing over money isn’t going to cure your financial complications. If you’ve found yourself in a situation where you’re battling to make ends meet, here are the best ways to deal with your financial difficulties so you can live a stress-free life again.
Document your monthly expenses
The first step in resolving your financial challenges is identify exactly where your pain points are. Whether you’re dealing with a large credit card debt, you’re attempting to boost your retirement savings, or you just spend too much on eating in restaurants during the week, identifying the main causes of your financial issues will show you which expenditures need to be prioritised so you can get your finances back on course. Get a pen and paper and write down your current monthly costs including debt repayments, food, bills, tuition, transport, and any other items you regularly spend each month.
Decrease your expenditures
Once you’ve got your monthly expenditures in front of you, take a closer look and examine which expenses can be reduced and which can be severed altogether. While your mortgage repayments naturally can’t be lowered, you can possibly lower your food bill by only eating at home and even eliminate other entertainment expenses like cable TV. It’s pivotal that you are pragmatic about minimising your expenses. Always remember, if you’re trying to overcome financial problems then you must make sacrifices to resolve them.
Construct a budget
Now that you’ve got your monthly costs written down without the unnecessary spending, you must develop a budget. If you’re unfamiliar with making a budget, there are a number of fantastic apps you can download on your smartphone. Personally, I’ve found the Budget Planning app from ASIC to be very useful: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/calculators-and-apps/budget-planner.
This will enable you to establish how much money you have left each month by looking at your income and expenses. It’s essential that you stick your budget. If you sense that it could be challenging to do this, add a miscellaneous item to your budget to give you some room to breathe, or perhaps a motivation item to reward yourself at the end of the month for following your budget.
Prioritise your debts
Some debts cause more strain than others, so to alleviate your financial stress as best as possible, aim to decrease your largest debts first. Not only will you be saving money by paying less interest, you’ll also feel far better about yourself. Only paying the minimum repayments on your credit card bill can sometimes take years to pay off, so aim to lower these types of debts as soon as possible. Remember, you still have other fixed debts every month like phone bills and electricity, so these have to be taken into account as well.
Still feeling the heat?
If you’ve cut back on your expenses and made a budget but still find that there’s not enough money to repay all your debts, you’ll need to find other income streams. Are you able to work a second job? Can you sell any high priced household items that you can do without? Reaching out to family and friends is another useful way to try to resolve your challenges. Whatever you do to get extra money, never get a personal loan from the bank to settle your existing debt – this will only intensify an already stressful situation.
Seek financial advice
If the above steps haven’t relieved your financial strain, it’s better to seek financial guidance sooner instead of later. Depending on your individual situation, there are plenty of solutions available including debt consolidation loans or debt agreements which can help those in need. Don’t wrestle with your debts for years before seeking help, talk with Bankruptcy Experts Townsville on 1300 795 575 or visit our website for further information: www.bankruptcyexpertstownsville.com.au