There’s no question that financial concerns can inflict a lot of stress in our lives. Constantly 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 well-being. The fact is, stressing over money isn’t going to solve your financial troubles. If you’ve found yourself in a position where you’re straining to make ends meet, here are the best ways to deal with your financial challenges so you can live a stress-free life again.
Document your monthly expenses
The first step in taking care of your financial issues is determine exactly where your pain points are. Whether or not you’re dealing with a large credit card debt, you’re trying to enhance your retirement savings, or you just spend too much on eating out during the week, pinpointing the main causes of your financial problems will reveal to you which expenditures have to be prioritised so you can get your finances back on track. Grab a pen and paper and jot down your current monthly costs including debt repayments, food, bills, tuition, transport, and any other items you frequently spend every month.
Reduce your expenditures
When you’ve got your monthly expenditures in front of you, take a closer look and find which expenses can be reduced and which can be cut out altogether. While your mortgage repayments certainly can’t be decreased, you can most likely lower your food bill by only eating at home and even get rid of other entertainment expenses such as cable TV. It’s pivotal that you are pragmatic about lowering your expenses. Remember, if you’re dealing with financial difficulties then you must make sacrifices to resolve them.
Create a budget
Now that you’ve got your monthly expenditures written down without the unnecessary spending, you need to create a budget. If you’re not familiar with developing a budget, there are a number of wonderful apps you can download on your smartphone. Personally, I’ve found the Budget Planning app from ASIC to be very practical: 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 reviewing your income and expenses. It’s paramount that you stick your budget. If you sense that it could be too challenging to do this, add a miscellaneous item to your budget to give you some room to breathe, or maybe a motivation item to reward yourself at the end of the month for following your budget.
Prioritise your debts
Some debts cause more pain than others, so to relieve your financial burden as best as possible, try 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 aim to reduce these kinds of debts as soon as possible. Bear in mind, you still have other fixed debts each month like phone bills and electricity, so these need to be taken into account as well.
Still feeling the heat?
If you’ve lowered your expenditures and created 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 and friends is another reliable way to attempt to address your concerns. Whatever you do to get extra money, never get a personal loan from the bank to repay your existing debt – this will only intensify an already stressful situation.
Seek financial guidance
If the above steps haven’t relieved your financial pressure, it’s better to seek financial advice sooner instead of later. Depending on your individual circumstances, there are lots of choices available including debt consolidation loans or debt agreements which can help those in need. Don’t fight your debts for years before seeking assistance, talk to Bankruptcy Experts Gold Coast on 1300 879 867 or visit our website for further information: www.bankruptcyexpertsgoldcoast.com.au