There’s no question that financial problems can lead to a lot of anxiety in our lives. Continuously thinking 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, worrying about money isn’t going to solve your financial problems. If you’ve found yourself in a position where you’re straining to make ends meet, here are the best ways to address your financial difficulties so you can live a stress-free life again.
List your monthly costs
The first step in addressing your financial concerns 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 dining in restaurants throughout the week, identifying the main causes of your financial issues 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 debt repayments, food, bills, tuition, transport, and any other items you commonly spend each month.
Cut down on your expenses
When you’ve got your monthly expenditures in front of you, take a closer look and see which expenses can be decreased and which can be severed altogether. While your mortgage repayments certainly can’t be decreased, you can probably lower your food bill by only eating at home and even eliminate other entertainment expenses such as cable TV. It’s critical that you are pragmatic about minimising your expenses. Remember, if you’re dealing with financial difficulties then you must make sacrifices to resolve them.
Set up a budget
Now that you’ve got your monthly expenses written down without the unnecessary spending, you must set up a budget. If you’re unfamiliar with constructing a budget, there are plenty of terrific apps you can download on your smartphone. Personally, I’ve found the Budget Planning app from ASIC to be very reliable: 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 critical that you stick your budget. If you feel that it could be difficult 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 suffering than others, so to alleviate your financial strain as best as possible, aim to decrease your largest 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 lower these types of debts as soon as possible. Always remember, you still have other fixed debts each month including phone bills and electricity, so these have to be taken into account as well.
Still feeling the heat?
If you’ve reduced your expenditures and made a budget but still find that there’s not enough money to settle all your debts, you’ll have 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 or friends is another helpful way to attempt to address your troubles. Whatever you do to get extra money, never get a personal loan from the bank to repay your existing debt – this will only compound an already stressful situation.
Seek financial assistance
If the above steps haven’t relieved your financial strain, it’s better to seek financial guidance sooner instead of later. Depending on your individual circumstances, there are plenty of solutions available including debt consolidation loans or debt agreements which can help those in need. Don’t wrestle with your debts for years before getting help, get in contact with Bankruptcy Experts Gympie on 1300 795 575 or visit our website for further information: www.bankruptcyexpertsgympie.com.au