There’s no doubt that financial concerns can create a lot of stress in our lives. Continuously worrying about how you’re going to pay your bills not only makes you anxious, but also places stress on your relationships, your family, and your health. The fact is, stressing over money isn’t going to fix your financial challenges. 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 concerns so you can live a worry-free life again.
Document your monthly expenses
The first step in resolving your financial challenges is determine exactly where your pain points are. Whether you’re dealing with a large credit card balance, you’re attempting to increase your retirement savings, or you merely spend too much on eating out throughout the week, recognising the main causes of your financial troubles will reveal to you which expenditures must be prioritised so you can get your finances back on course. Get a pen and paper and write down your current monthly expenditures including debt repayments, food, bills, tuition, transport, and any other items you commonly spend every month.
Reduce your expenditures
When you’ve got your monthly expenditures in front of you, take a closer look and examine which expenses can be minimised and which can be eliminated altogether. While your mortgage repayments obviously can’t be reduced, 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 critical that you are pragmatic about reducing your expenses. Keep in mind, if you’re trying to address financial difficulties then you must make sacrifices to resolve them.
Set up a budget
Now that you’ve got your monthly costs jotted down without the unnecessary spending, you have to create a budget. If you’re not familiar with making a budget, there are loads of fantastic 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 every month by examining your income and expenses. It’s essential that you stick your budget. If you think that it could be too 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 pressure as best as possible, try 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 reduce these kinds of debts as soon as possible. Bear in mind, you still have other fixed debts every month such as phone bills and electricity, so these have to be taken into account as well.
Still feeling the heat?
If you’ve cut down 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 costly household items that you can do without? Reaching out to family and friends is another reliable way to attempt to address your troubles. Whatever you do to get additional money, never get a personal loan from the bank to pay off your existing debt – this will only magnify an already stressful situation.
Seek financial guidance
If the above steps haven’t relieved your financial stress, it’s better to seek financial advice sooner instead of later. Depending on your individual circumstances, there are plenty of options available including debt consolidation loans or debt agreements which can assist those in need. Don’t fight your debts for years before seeking help, get in contact with Bankruptcy Experts Tennant Creek on 1300 795 575 or visit our website for more information: www.bankruptcyexpertstennantcreek.com.au