There’s no question that financial difficulties can lead to a lot of anxiety in our lives. Incessantly worrying 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, stressing over money isn’t going to fix your financial concerns. 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 troubles so you can live a stress-free life again.
Write down your monthly expenses
The first step in tackling your financial concerns is find out exactly where your pain points are. Regardless if you’re dealing with a large credit card debt, you’re attempting to increase your retirement savings, or you merely spend too much on dining in restaurants during the week, pinpointing the main causes of your financial troubles will reveal to you which expenditures must be prioritised so you can get your finances back on track. 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 each month.
Cut back on your expenses
When you’ve got your monthly expenditures in front of you, take a closer look and find which expenses can be minimised and which can be eliminated altogether. Although your mortgage repayments certainly can’t be lowered, you can likely decrease your food bill by only eating at home and even remove other entertainment expenses like cable TV. It’s integral that you are pragmatic about cutting down your expenses. Remember, if you’re trying to address financial problems then you need to make sacrifices to resolve them.
Put together a budget
Now that you’ve got your monthly expenses written down without the unnecessary spending, you have to develop a budget. If you’re unfamiliar with constructing a budget, there are a number of wonderful 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 identify how much money you have left every month by reviewing your income and expenses. It’s necessary that you stick your budget. If you sense 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 following your budget.
Prioritise your debts
Some debts cause more strain than others, so to relieve 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 much better about yourself. Only paying the minimum repayments on your credit card bill can sometimes take years to pay off, so attempt to lower these kinds of debts as quickly as possible. Bear in mind, you still have other fixed debts every month including phone bills and electricity, so these need to be taken into account as well.
Still feeling the heat?
If you’ve cut down your expenses and constructed a budget but still find that there’s not enough money to pay off all your debts, you’ll have to find other sources of income. 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 reliable way to attempt to address your concerns. Whatever you do to get additional money, never get a personal loan from the bank to repay your existing debt – this will only intensify 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 rather than later. Depending on your individual situation, there are plenty of choices available such as debt consolidation loans or debt agreements which can help those in need. Don’t wrestle with your debts for years before seeking assistance, talk to Bankruptcy Melbourne on 1300 879 867 or visit our website for additional information: www.bankruptcymelbourne.com