There’s no doubt that financial problems can inflict a lot of stress and anxiety in our lives. Frequently thinking 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 well-being. The fact is, stressing over money isn’t going to fix your financial complications. 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 complications so you can live a stress-free life again.
Write down your monthly expenses
The first step in managing your financial concerns is uncover exactly where your pain points are. Whether you’re dealing with a large credit card balance, you’re attempting to boost your retirement savings, or you just spend too much on dining in restaurants throughout the week, identifying 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 course. Grab a pen and paper and write down your current monthly expenditures including bills, debt repayments, food, tuition, transport, and any other items you normally spend every month.
Lower your expenditures
Once you’ve got your monthly expenditures in front of you, take a closer look and see which expenses can be minimised and which can be severed altogether. Although your mortgage repayments certainly can’t be reduced, you can likely reduce your food bill by only eating at home and even get rid of other entertainment expenses such as cable television. It’s critical that you are pragmatic about minimising your expenses. Bear in mind, if you’re dealing with financial difficulties then you need to make sacrifices to resolve them.
Develop a budget
Now that you’ve got your monthly expenses documented without the unnecessary spending, you need to 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 helpful: 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 viewing your income and expenses. It’s critical that you stick your budget. If you feel that it could be too challenging 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 alleviate your financial strain as best as possible, try to decrease your biggest 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. Bear in mind, you still have other fixed debts every 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 expenses and made a budget but still find that there’s not enough money to repay all your debts, you’ll have to find other income sources. 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 practical way to attempt to resolve 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 exacerbate an already stressful situation.
Seek financial guidance
If the above steps haven’t relieved your financial pressure, it’s better to seek financial guidance sooner instead of later. Depending on your individual situation, there are lots of alternatives available like debt consolidation loans or debt agreements which can assist those in need. Don’t fight your debts for years before getting guidance, get in contact with Bankruptcy Experts Newcastle on 1300 795 575 or visit our website for more information: www.bankruptcyexpertsnewcastle.com.au