While money makes the world go round, spending all of our time stressing about how much we haven’t got isn’t healthy. As with anything that is getting to you, it’s much better to put an action plan in place of how you are going to deal with it and then follow it as best you can. This can help reduce the stress and worry about your financial situation and free you up to enjoy your life again.
With any action plan, it’s important to start with the end goal and work backward. With a financial action plan, you may want to become debt free, decrease your monthly spending or save for a major purchase like a house or a new car.
Once you have this end goal, you need to work out the things that you will have to do to get there. For example, if your goal is to be debt-free, you might have smaller targets of saving X amount a month, pay off the credit card, or over pay loan four times a year. Remember that it will take time and consistency on your part to reach your goal. There should be several stages to action for each goal, so you gradually work your way towards success.
It’s also crucial that you include why you want to achieve your aim. For example being in debt might make you feel uncomfortable or guilty about spending the money that you do have. The emotional motivation is often much stronger than any other, and this can help you stay focused on the end goal if things become tight. For more information on action, planning see the Daily Greatness Journal. This can help you define your money goals and monitor your progress.
It’s no surprise that budgeting can help you stop stressing about money. But it does takes some practice to get into the swing of keeping to a budget. Remember, though, having an eye on your incomings and outgoings is essential to getting on top of your financial situation.
Your budget needs to be realistic and include all your essential outgoings, as well as money for spending and fun. If you do not include these items it will be impossible to keep to in the long term, and you are just setting yourself up for failure.
Simple is better
While a budget can help you track your spending and so get in control, remember to make they way your track your money easy. Having scribbled notes and receipts everywhere is a bad idea. The more unorganized you feel, the less likely you will be actual to follow through and keep an eye on your money. Use a simple Excel spreadsheet, an app or a paper tracker like these here. Some online banking accounts even offer money tracking services so you can visually see the percentages of how your money is being spent.
Always add up what your outgoings are each month and record it. Then you will be able to see how much spare cash you have and can split this between debt payment and think for yourself to get a balanced view.
Another good way of cutting the stress of money worries is by having an emergency fund. Unplanned costs often crop up and having some money put aside to deal with them is a good idea.
An emergency fund is a savings pot that you can dip into when you come across an unexpected cost like a broken washing machine or a new tire for your car. By having an emergency fund, you know you will be covered whatever happens.
Luckily if you haven’t had a chance to build up an emergency pot, you can apply for one of the payday loans online, that are available now. This can help you out of a financial fix and you can pay it back is soon as you have the money without incurring penalties.
If you have got to the point where you debts feel overwhelming, don’t panic as there are a few things you can do to reduce the stress.
The first is a consolidation loan. This is where a company steps in and pays your debts for you and your pay them a single amount to them each month for an agreed period. This means that you don’t have to track lots of different bill and debtors. It makes it clear what amount of money you have left each month to spend on other things.
The second option is to go bankrupt. This is when your debts are canceled because you demonstrate that you only have a little amount of money or assets to your name. You will be asked to pay off a proportion of your debt, though. Also being bankrupt can affect your credit for some years after the ruling. So your ability to rent, get a mortgage or start a business can be compromised. Therefore it should only be considered as a last resort.
Another way to have more money in the kitty and stop stressing about your finances is to cut your monthly outgoings. This is not always as easy thing to do, but you can reap great rewards from it if you are smart.
Consider changing your weekly shop to a cheaper store. Or buy less premium branded products and go for the store’s own brands. They are often made in the same factories and taste remarkably similar. Your family probably won’t even notice the difference, and you can save a lot of money this way.
You could also consider eating out less or consuming fewer takeaways. This can save your money and of course, if you are cooking from scratch from home instead, it can be a lot healthier for you and your family.
Another indispensable piece of advice to help you stop stressing about money is to get your priorities in order. This means, after the essentials that you need to live like food, rent or mortgage and utilities you need to prioritize paying off your debts. What most people fail to realize is that your debts continue to grow, because you are charged for oweing your debtors. This is known as the interest rate. So the sooner you pay off your debts, the less in total you will end up paying.
Sell the car
Ok, I know that this one is not going to be popular. But the average car payments and running costs at over $400 a month, so it is worth considering. Of course, you are going to need to think about this very carefully. Can you survive without a car? Is there another way you can commute to work? Can the kids get the bus to school? Luckily you can even get your shopping ordered online and deliver to your door now, so if you do decide to go car free, that is one less thing to worry about.
Ask for a raise
This suggestion is probably not so popular either, but if you don’t ask then, you don’t get. Many people feel uncomfortable asking for a raise at work, but what you don’t realize is that everyone does it.
Be as professional and calm as possible when you ask for a higher salary. Have a list of the reasons why you think you deserve it on hand. Your boss might still say no, so just keep cool and ask what steps you would need to perform to be worthy of a raise in their eyes.
The chances are that they would rather increase your wage, then employ someone else that doesn’t know the job half as well if you leave. So the odds are stacked in your favor.
Another important and yet overlooked tip for being calmer about your financial situation is to make sure that you have a pension plan. This can be difficult if you are currently trying to pay debts off, but it is important to know that you will be secure in the future. Many employers offer a pension plan or 401 K, so if you have not already enrolled it is worth doing do. While it might mean a bit less in your pocket now, you will be safe in the knowledge that you will be accruing a nest egg for the future.
Earn some extra
Another way to get on top of your personal finance is to make some extra money. There are lots of different ways to do this now, so there is a solution for every type of person.
Firstly you can sell things, whether through a garage sale, eBay or crafts that you make through Etsy, you can definitely make some extra money this way.
Then you can take on an extra job. Try coaching or refereeing a sports team if that is your thing. Or dog walking, grass cutting or babysitting.
You could go for the convenience of an online job like being a virtual assistant or filling in surveys while watching TV in the evening. Then you can work from your home for a few hours a day and rake in some extra cash. Which can help you get out of debt sooner and get rid of your money stresses!