There’s no question that financial complications can create a lot of stress and anxiety in our lives. Incessantly 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 health. The fact is, stressing over money isn’t going to fix your financial troubles. If you’ve found yourself in a position where you’re battling to make ends meet, here are the best ways to deal with your financial problems so you can live a stress-free life again.
Write down your monthly expenditures
The first step in managing your financial complications is figure out exactly where your pain points are. Whether you’re dealing with a large credit card balance, you’re trying to increase your retirement savings, or you merely spend too much on dining in restaurants during the week, discovering the main causes of your financial woes will show you which expenditures have to be prioritised so you can get your finances back on track. Grab a pen and paper and jot down your current monthly expenditures including debt repayments, food, bills, tuition, transport, and any other items you usually spend every month.
Decrease your expenses
After you’ve got your monthly expenditures in front of you, take a closer look and see which expenses can be reduced and which can be cut out altogether. While your mortgage repayments obviously can’t be decreased, you can probably decrease your food bill by only eating at home and even do away with other entertainment expenses like cable TV. It’s pivotal that you are pragmatic about lowering your expenses. Always remember, if you’re dealing with financial problems then you must make sacrifices to resolve them.
Develop a budget
Now that you’ve got your monthly expenses jotted down without the unnecessary spending, you have to create a budget. If you’re not familiar with developing a budget, there are a number of fantastic apps you can download on your smartphone. 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 ascertain how much money you have left each month by viewing your income and expenses. It’s imperative that you stick your budget. If you feel that it could be too hard 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 suffering than others, so to lighten your financial burden 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 much better about yourself. Only paying the minimum repayments on your credit card bill can sometimes take years to pay off, so try to diminish these kinds of debts as quickly as possible. Keep in mind, you still have other fixed debts each month like phone bills and electricity, so these need to be factored in too.
Still feeling the heat?
If you’ve lowered your expenditures and made 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 costly household items that you can do without? Reaching out to family and friends is another effective way to try to resolve your difficulties. Whatever you do to get extra money, never get a personal loan from the bank to settle your existing debt – this will only intensify an already stressful situation.
Seek financial advice
If the above steps haven’t relieved your financial strain, it’s better to seek financial guidance sooner rather than later. Depending on your individual circumstances, there are lots of solutions available such as debt consolidation loans or debt agreements which can assist those in need. Don’t wrestle with your debts for years before getting guidance, speak with Bankruptcy Experts Cairns on 1300 795 575 or visit our website for more information: www.bankruptcyexpertscairns.com.au