There’s no doubt that financial issues can lead to a lot of anxiety in our lives. Constantly fretting 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, stressing over money isn’t going to fix your financial issues. If you’ve found yourself in a position where you’re battling to make ends meet, here are the best ways to address your financial troubles so you can live a worry-free life again.
List your monthly expenditures
The first step in taking care of your financial concerns is figure out exactly where your pain points are. Whether or not you’re dealing with a large credit card balance, you’re trying to increase your retirement savings, or you merely spend too much on eating out during the week, identifying the main causes of your financial problems will show you which expenditures have to be prioritised so you can get your finances back on track. Grab a pen and paper and document your current monthly expenditures including debt repayments, food, bills, tuition, transport, and any other items you normally spend every month.
Reduce your expenses
Once you’ve got your monthly expenditures in front of you, take a closer look and see which expenses can be lowered and which can be eliminated altogether. Even though your mortgage repayments clearly can’t be decreased, you can probably lower your food bill by only eating at home and even get rid of other entertainment expenses like cable TV. It’s significant that you are pragmatic about cutting down 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 written down without the unnecessary spending, you need to set up a budget. If you’re unfamiliar with creating a budget, there are lots of wonderful apps you can download on your smartphone. 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 identify how much money you have left each month by looking at your income and expenses. It’s vital 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 even a motivation item to reward yourself at the end of the month for sticking to your budget.
Prioritise your debts
Some debts cause more pain than others, so to lighten your financial strain 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 attempt to reduce these types of debts as quickly as possible. Don’t forget, you still have other fixed debts every month like phone bills and electricity, so these need to be accounted for as well.
Still feeling the heat?
If you’ve cut down your expenses and constructed a budget but still find that there’s not enough money to settle 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 or friends is another useful way to try to deal with your difficulties. Whatever you do to get additional money, never get a personal loan from the bank to repay 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 assistance sooner rather than later. Depending on your individual circumstances, there are a number of options available including debt consolidation loans or debt agreements which can help those in need. Don’t wrestle with your debts for years before seeking assistance, call Bankruptcy Experts Cassowary Coast on 1300 795 575 or visit our website for additional information: www.bankruptcyexpertscassowarycoast.com.au