There’s no doubt that financial issues can create a lot of stress and anxiety in our lives. Incessantly 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 health. The fact is, stressing over money isn’t going to cure your financial concerns. If you’ve found yourself in a position where you’re struggling to make ends meet, here are the best ways to resolve your financial concerns so you can live a worry-free life again.
Document your monthly costs
The first step in managing your financial issues is determine exactly where your pain points are. Whether you’re dealing with a large credit card balance, you’re trying to enhance your retirement savings, or you merely spend too much on dining in restaurants throughout the week, identifying the main causes of your financial concerns will reveal to you which expenditures must be prioritised so you can get your finances back on course. Grab a pen and paper and write down your current monthly expenses including debt repayments, bills, food, transport, tuition, and any other items you typically spend every month.
Decrease your expenses
Once you’ve got your monthly expenses in front of you, take a closer look and examine which expenses can be decreased and which can be cut out altogether. While your mortgage repayments obviously can’t be decreased, you can likely decrease your food bill by only eating at home and even get rid of other entertainment expenses like cable TV. It’s crucial that you are pragmatic about decreasing your expenses. Always remember, if you’re trying to address financial troubles then you have to make sacrifices to resolve them.
Construct a budget
Now that you’ve got your monthly expenditures jotted down without the unnecessary spending, you have to develop a budget. If you’re not familiar with constructing a budget, there are a number of terrific 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 figure out how much money you have left every month by reviewing your income and expenses. It’s paramount that you stick your budget. If you feel 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 strain than others, so to relieve 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 aim to diminish these types of debts as quickly as possible. Remember, you still have other fixed debts every month like phone bills and electricity, so these should be accounted for as well.
Still feeling the heat?
If you’ve lowered your expenses and developed a budget but still find that there’s not enough money to settle 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 or friends is another useful way to try to resolve your problems. Whatever you do to get additional money, never get a personal loan from the bank to settle your existing debt – this will only worsen an already stressful situation.
Seek financial guidance
If the above steps haven’t relieved your financial stress, it’s better to seek financial guidance sooner rather than later. Depending on your individual circumstances, there are lots of choices available such as debt consolidation loans or debt agreements which can assist those in need. Don’t fight your debts for years before seeking assistance, reach out to Bankruptcy Experts Perth on 1300 795 575 or visit our website for further information: www.bankruptcyexpertsperth.com.au