There’s no question that financial issues can cause a lot of stress and anxiety in our lives. Continually fretting about how you’re going to pay your bills not only makes you apprehensive, but also puts stress on your relationships, your family, and your well-being. The fact is, stressing over money isn’t going to cure your financial difficulties. If you’ve found yourself in a situation where you’re struggling to make ends meet, here are the best ways to resolve your financial troubles so you can live a stress-free life again.
Document your monthly expenses
The first step in tackling your financial concerns is determine exactly where your pain points are. Regardless if you’re dealing with a large credit card debt, you’re attempting to increase your retirement savings, or you just spend too much on dining in restaurants during the week, pinpointing the main causes of your financial woes will show you which expenses need to be prioritised so you can get your finances back on track. Grab a pen and paper and document your current monthly expenditures including bills, debt repayments, food, tuition, transport, and any other items you regularly spend every month.
Reduce your expenses
When you’ve got your monthly expenses in front of you, take a closer look and examine which expenses can be minimised and which can be removed altogether. While your mortgage repayments obviously can’t be reduced, you can possibly lower your food bill by only eating at home and even remove other entertainment expenses like cable television. It’s necessary that you are pragmatic about decreasing your expenses. Bear in mind, if you’re dealing with financial challenges then you have to make sacrifices to resolve them.
Put together a budget
Now that you’ve got your monthly costs documented without the unnecessary spending, you must develop a budget. If you’re not familiar with creating a budget, there are loads of wonderful apps you can download on your mobile phone. 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 figure out 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 think that it could be too difficult 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 sticking to your budget.
Prioritise your debts
Some debts cause more suffering than others, so to alleviate your financial burden as best as possible, try to reduce 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 attempt to diminish these types of debts as quickly as possible. Always remember, you still have other fixed debts each month including phone bills and electricity, so these have to be accounted for as well.
Still feeling the heat?
If you’ve cut down your expenditures and developed a budget but still find that there’s not enough money to repay all your debts, you’ll need to find other sources of income. 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 practical way to attempt to address your concerns. Whatever you do to get extra money, never get a personal loan from the bank to settle your existing debt – this will only worsen an already stressful situation.
Seek financial assistance
If the above steps haven’t relieved your financial pressure, it’s better to seek financial guidance sooner rather than 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 wrestle with your debts for years before getting assistance, talk with Bankruptcy Advice Adelaide on 1300 879 867 or visit our website for more information: www.bankruptcy-advice.com.au/Adelaide