There’s no doubt that financial concerns can create a lot of stress and anxiety in our lives. Repeatedly worrying about how you’re going to pay your bills not only makes you distressed, 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 problems. If you’ve found yourself in a situation where you’re battling to make ends meet, here are the best ways to address your financial difficulties so you can live a worry-free life again.
Document your monthly expenditures
The first step in overcoming your financial complications is uncover 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 troubles will show you which expenses must be prioritised so you can get your finances back on course. Get a pen and paper and document your current monthly expenses including food, bills, debt repayments, transport, tuition, and any other items you normally spend each 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 minimised and which can be severed altogether. Even though your mortgage repayments obviously can’t be decreased, you can most likely lower your food bill by only eating at home and even remove other entertainment expenses like cable TV. It’s pivotal that you are pragmatic about lowering your expenses. Keep in mind, if you’re trying to address financial challenges then you have to make sacrifices to resolve them.
Construct a budget
Now that you’ve got your monthly costs jotted down without the unnecessary spending, you must develop a budget. If you’re unfamiliar with creating 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 valuable: 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 each month by examining your income and expenses. It’s necessary that you stick your budget. If you feel that it could be challenging 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 strain than others, so to relieve your financial strain 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 attempt to diminish these types of debts as quickly as possible. Always remember, you still have other fixed debts each month including phone bills and electricity, so these should 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 effective way to try to resolve your issues. Whatever you do to get extra money, never get a personal loan from the bank to repay your existing debt – this will only worsen an already stressful situation.
Seek financial advice
If the above steps haven’t relieved your financial pressure, it’s better to seek financial assistance sooner rather than later. Depending on your individual situation, there are a number of solutions 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 help, call Bankruptcy Experts Brisbane on 1300 795 575 or visit our website for additional information: www.bankruptcyexpertsbrisbane.com.au