Money, finances, debt. Whether you’re in a good or bad place with these things, they can be stressful. But let’s face it, finances are often more stressful when things take a turn for the worse.
If you’re suffering from financial stress, don’t despair. There are always things you can do to get back on track. I’ve put together 10 tried and tested tips.
Start a debt solution
If you have financial worries and you’re living in the UK, then considering a debt solution is a good place to start. There are several options available, many of which your may not have heard of. They each act differently and suit people depending on your circumstances. You’ve probably heard of bankruptcy, but have you heard of these others?
0% balance transfer
Credit cards often come with high interest rates. It means that if you’re only paying the minimum each month you’re likely to be making repaying for many years. To make sure you’re debt is going down, why not consider a 0% balance transfer? Keep in mind the 0% is for a set period, so check to see what the interest will be after that period. But this could be a good way to make a big dent in your credit card debt.
Work out your income and outgoings
This is a vital way to get to grips with your finances. By seeing where everything is going you can make decisions on what to do next. I know when I did it, it made me realise how much money I was spending on food. I could then research on how to manage my shopping bill and money wasn’t as tight anymore. Use this great income and expenditure tool and see where you could start to save.
Speak to someone
If you finances are making you feel stressed, anxious, depressed, or anything similar, speak to someone. I know it’s a cliche but a problem shared is a problem halved. However, when it comes to finances, it’s not always easy. Finances are a private subject and so most people keep their financial troubles to themselves. If you’re finding it tough, why not speak to one of these charities
If you don’t think your situation is quite as severe as that, but you’d still like to speak with someone, speaking with a debt advisor can be a good idea too. It can be good just to tell someone about your circumstances. They’ll also be able to give you some tips about how you could get debt free.
Prioritise your debt repayments
If you don’t have enough income to cover your outgoings, you need to prioritise. It might sound like an obvious thing to say, but you should be paying for food, your rent/mortgage, and council tax, before you make a credit card, personal loan, or overdraft repayment.
Contact your lenders
If you’re having problems with your finances and your lenders are chasing you, they might be the last person you want to speak with. If you don’t want to talk to them, why not write? The Citizens Advice Bureau have compiled several different letters for many different situations. Lenders tend to be more accommodating these days and prepared to listen to your circumstances.
Keep a rigid daily routine
If you want to budget well, you have to give your life structure. If you know what you’re doing each day, and what classes you’re going to take, the food you’re going to eat, you can budget ahead. I find it’s best to do this in line with some goals. Whether it’s health and fitness goals or career goals it just means you’re likely to stick to your routine.
Don’t cut yourself off from others
Struggling with your finances can impact your self-esteem, your pride, and confidence. It’s easy to want to cut yourself off. It’s something I’ve done before; staying in meant I wasn’t spending money but it was also because I didn’t want to go out and mix with the world. This only makes things worse. The best things to do are cheap activities. It might be five a side football, a cycling club, or a reading club. Whatever it is, don’t cut yourself off.
I’ve touched on this a little already, but you’ve got to stay active. Bad situations tend to breed bad habits. Don’t fall into the trap. Staying active keeps your body and mind healthy. Consistency is key. Even if it’s just a 30 minute walk everyday
Start a side hustle
Start to do something you enjoy, learn new skills, and maybe make some extra money. I know people who have started side hustles and a few years’ later they were earning more on the side than from their main income. There is no denying it though, it takes time and dedication. To make it work will require giving up evening and weekend, so start something you’re passionate about.