|September 11, 2018||22|
There’s no question that financial difficulties can inflict a lot of anxiety in our lives. Continually 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 well-being. The fact is, stressing over money isn’t going to solve 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 address your financial problems so you can live a worry-free life again.
Document your monthly costs
The first step in taking care of your financial problems is figure out exactly where your pain points are. Whether you’re dealing with a large credit card debt, you’re attempting to increase your retirement savings, or you just spend too much on eating in restaurants during the week, pinpointing the main causes of your financial problems will reveal to you which expenditures should be prioritised so you can get your finances back on track. Get a pen and paper and write down your current monthly costs including debt repayments, bills, food, transport, tuition, and any other items you usually spend every month.
Decrease your expenses
Once you’ve got your monthly expenditures in front of you, take a closer look and find 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 remove other entertainment expenses such as cable TV. It’s necessary that you are pragmatic about cutting down your expenses. Don’t forget, if you’re trying to overcome financial problems then you have to make sacrifices to resolve them.
Put together a budget
Now that you’ve got your monthly costs written down without the unnecessary spending, you must develop a budget. If you’re unfamiliar with making a budget, there are a number of terrific apps you can download on your smartphone. Personally, I’ve found the Budget Planning app from ASIC to be very useful: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/calculators-and-apps/budget-planner.
This will enable you to calculate how much money you have left every month by viewing your income and expenses. It’s essential that you stick your budget. If you think that it could be too hard to do this, add a miscellaneous item to your budget to give you some room to breathe, or perhaps a motivation item to reward yourself at the end of the month for sticking to your budget.
Prioritise your debts
Some debts cause more distress than others, so to ease 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 far better about yourself. Only paying the minimum repayments on your credit card bill can sometimes take years to pay off, so attempt to decrease these types of debts as quickly as possible. Bear in mind, you still have other fixed debts each month such as phone bills and electricity, so these need to be accounted for as well.
Still feeling the heat?
If you’ve reduced your expenses and developed a budget but still find that there’s not enough money to pay off 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 helpful way to try to resolve your problems. Whatever you do to get extra 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 strain, it’s better to seek financial assistance sooner instead of later. Depending on your individual situation, there are a number of options available such as debt consolidation loans or debt agreements which can assist those in need. Don’t wrestle with your debts for years before seeking guidance, get in contact with Fresh Start Solutions on 1300 818 575 or visit our website for additional information: https://freshstartsolutions.com.au