Relieving Financial Anxiety in 7 Easy Steps
Relieving Financial Anxiety in 7 Easy Steps
There’s a natural human response to times of economic hardship, which is concern over whether or not you’ll be able to weather the storm. There are two types of individuals in the world: those who allow worry to consume them and cause financial ruin, and those who take proactive measures to alleviate their predicament.
If you’re having trouble with your finances and don’t know how to make a step-by-step plan to fix it, these tips will help you get started.
Whatever your financial stress, from increasing credit card debt to more immediate concerns like putting food on the table or commuting to and from work in this day of skyrocketing gas prices, this will help you make ends meet and relieve some of that strain.
It’s good to be prepared for everything, even if it’s something you never expect to face. Further, it can keep these problems from piling on top of your existing ones.
Relax, There Is Still Time To Get This Under Control.
Don’t continue reading until you’ve taken a few deep breaths (literally). When it comes to this problem, there is hope. In the end, things will all work out for the best. There are millions of people who can relate to what you’re going through.
You won’t be able to make rational decisions while in a state of terror. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to maintain your composure and think clearly during this challenging period.
Troubles with finances can keep you up at night. You may be unproductive at work due to your many distractions. There’s a chance you’ll accidentally lash out at your loved ones.
It’s bad enough to have money concerns; adding relationship issues is just asking for trouble. Free stress-reduction strategies (such as deep breathing or a relaxing warm bath before bed) might help you get a better night’s sleep and maintain your composure in tense situations.
If your kids are old enough to understand, you might want to be honest with them about what’s going on without scaring them. They will likely feel tension, and realizing that it is not due to anything they have done will go a long way toward getting everyone on board with the planned alterations.
Gather your loved ones around a table and talk calmly about how you need to make some short-term, temporary modifications to the family budget so that you can pay your bills and buy the things you need.
Tell them you’ll keep them posted on your progress and how they may chip in, and make it clear that you value their input. Children take great pride in making positive contributions to the well-being of the family, and it takes a village to raise a child.
Locate Yourself and Set Priorities.
Truthfully assessing the current state of affairs is a necessary first step toward making things better. This requires an honest look at one’s financial situation, no matter how bad it may seem at first.
As a first step, check your bank accounts to discover how much money you have and whether or not you are overdrawn. If you want to know how much you owe on your credit cards and other obligations, how much your minimum payments are, and whether or not you are behind on them, you should write down all of this information.
Find out how much interest you’re paying on any obligations you have right now. Make a separate list of everything you’re falling behind on so you may negotiate catch-up terms with the relevant parties.
Some folks may not be in quite this severe of a bind financially, but for many, even the basics like food may be hard to come by. Make a list of everything you need right now, and just like you would with your income and expenses, do the same thing with your food.
In order to see how much money you are spending on groceries each week vs. how much money you have, you need to write down a detailed meal plan.
It’s important to take stock of not just these major expenses but also smaller ones, such as food, clothing, transportation, and healthcare. You need to have a thorough understanding of your current stockpile in relation to your anticipated needs over the next few weeks and months.
Put a Temporary Halt on Some Expenditures
Stop wasting money now before it’s too late. Before you or your loved ones start to miss the comforts and pleasures that have been taken away, you should know and stress that this is not a permanent situation.
You’ll just have to put it on hold until you’re able to get your finances under control and then gradually bring it back when you can afford it. Review your bank statements to identify the discretionary spending that is draining your finances.
You might think that missing an episode of your favorite show is impossible, but the reality is that you can. You no longer need your subscriptions to cable or streaming services.
You no longer need to stop at Starbucks on your way to work each day. When absolutely necessary, you can brew your own coffee at home. That doesn’t mean you have to give up Starbucks forever, but it does involve putting your loved ones’ financial security ahead of your personal desires once in a while.
If the rising cost of gas is having a serious impact on your budget, you might want to leave your car in the driveway. This depends on where you live and how good the public transportation system is in your city.
Stop sneaking out of the office in the middle of the day to grab lunch at a restaurant with your coworkers or even fast food until you have things under control and start bringing your lunch instead.
There are plenty of additional things that can be temporarily deleted from your budget because they are deemed to be unnecessary little indulgences. Some examples of these are getting your nails done, getting a massage, or getting your hair cut.
Modifications to Your Financial Situation That Can Make a Big Difference
The next step is to examine where you might make modest adjustments to your income in order to cut costs and boost your bottom line. We’ll begin by cutting back on expenses.
By reviewing your bank records and monthly budgets for the previous six months, you may determine exactly where your hard-earned cash has disappeared to. You may also see how a lot of small purchases made over time can add up to a big amount.
If you’re the kind to leave the TV on for the dogs while you’re at work, or to keep the lights on and the thermostat at 68 degrees while you’re not there, you may make some simple adjustments that will immediately reduce your outgoing duties.
Your use of any and all home appliances should be done so responsibly. Your air conditioner might not work as well if you use appliances that make heat, like a clothes dryer or an oven.
The best time to use these gadgets is after the sun has set and the temperature has dropped. You should also get used to keeping your house a little warmer in the summer and a little cooler in the winter if you can.
Make sure that you are not wasting water in any other way except with your appliances. If you’re struggling to put food on the table, water and electricity for your lawn should take a back seat.
Your phone plan could be another area to evaluate for potential savings. For instance, you can make certain sacrifices in light of the current economic climate, such as reducing the number of times per month that you receive limitless benefits from your plan.
Contact the utility provider if you’ve fallen behind on payments and find yourself in a dire financial bind; they may offer a payment plan or other assistance. When people are having trouble paying their water or power bills, these programs are generally already in place to assist them.
If you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments, your mortgage servicer may also offer assistance. These are intended to help people through a difficult financial patch, but they are not intended to permanently reduce payments.
Credit card companies and other businesses to which you owe money may also be contacted for assistance in light of the current financial crisis. In order to help you get back on your feet, many of them will temporarily suspend your payments or considerably lower them without any financial penalties.
Again, firms will allow you some slack temporarily, but you should take the matter seriously so that you can pay your payments in full once the leniency ends.
Consider a debt consolidation program if your debt load is heavy. Consolidating your debt into a single monthly payment with a lower interest rate can make it easier to pay off your debts and get your financial house in order.
After you’ve taken care of your immediate concerns, it’s time to start paying down your debt. After making sure you have enough money to pay for food, transportation to and from work, and medical care, you can focus on paying down your debt and getting out of your current financial bind.
The most prudent approach to debt management involves prioritizing obligations based on the rates of interest they carry. Get rid of the debt with the highest interest rate first, then tackle the next highest, and so on.
While the “snowball approach” of paying off your debts first may make you feel good, it isn’t the best way to manage your money and keep more of your hard-earned cash in your pocket.
Paying off overdue payments is a huge weight off your shoulders and a huge step toward financial stability. You should also start thinking about strategies to boost your earnings. Start by approaching your supervisor and requesting a pay increase.
You should be prepared to justify your request and state your desired amount. This could work out or not, but many individuals are too nervous to ask for a raise, so the corporation is under no obligation to do it.
If you are paid by the hour, the next step is to request more hours. If you’re struggling to make ends meet right now, it may be time to start picking up extra shifts that will pay you overtime.
As an alternative, you can take on a second job. If you have a regular 9-to-5 during the week, you can pick up online employment in the evenings and on the weekends to make ends meet.
Consider picking up shifts as a ride-sharing driver for Uber or Lyft, or as a food or grocery delivery person for Instacart, Door Dash, or Uber Eats, if you need offline work during those times.
Freelancing is a great way to make money doing things that you enjoy doing online. You can act as their virtual assistant and take care of the paperwork they don’t have time to deal with, or you can ghostwrite their blog articles or design images for their products like eBook covers.
On platforms like UpWork, you can look for work, while on Fiverr, you can offer your own services. Other online business opportunities include promoting things as an affiliate marketer or developing your own information products to sell on websites like Warrior Plus, JVZoo, or ClickBank.
Replace trivial luxuries with essential ones.
Numerous alternatives exist for use as a substitute. There was some discussion of cutting wasteful spending earlier. One of the topics covered in that paper was going out to restaurants and fast food joints.
Instead of wasting unnecessary money on eating out while on the go, you will be making a replacement by bringing your own food. Additionally, you can change things up by using different alternatives.
It’s wasteful to pay more for brand names wherever possible; this includes grocery store staples like cereal and pet supplies like litter. While you may have a soft spot for Charmin toilet paper, that doesn’t mean you should fork up the extra cash every time you run out.
For instance, a 12-pack of Charmin is $16.99 at Albertson’s. In contrast, a 12-roll pack of the store’s own brand of toilet paper (called Signature) costs only $12.79. That’s a discount of $4.20, which can really build up if you do it for every item in your shopping cart.
It’s possible to save money by changing the sort of goods you buy rather than the brand you normally buy. You could normally pay $11.99 for 20 pounds of Purina Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter.
A bag of Tidy Cats clay litter is only $6.49, but you still get 20 pounds of litter. That’s a significant savings of $5.50 per bag. This quickly adds up if you begin making clever purchases.
The supermarket isn’t the only place where this occurs. Always do your research before making a large purchase. You can save money in a number of ways: by purchasing in bulk online, by shopping at a local store where you can drive up and have the item brought out to your car, and by shopping locally.
The rapidity with which their children outgrow their clothing is a source of stress for many families budgets. Nowadays, even youngsters who have plenty of money enjoy the thrill of a good thrift store hunt.
Your family can purchase gently used, high-quality clothing at local thrift stores, or you can take advantage of the many internet thrift retailers that offer incredible discounts of up to 85%-90% on name brands.
It’s possible that you’ll need to make some significant adjustments.
Unfortunately, here comes the challenging part: sometimes your finances are so out of control that no amount of incremental improvements will bring you back on track. How far it goes and how much money you can make right now are also factors.
You can make one of these four changes if you want to make a big change that will immediately relieve a lot of the huge financial stress you are feeling.
Since food insecurity is a major problem for many households today, you should insist that we pick up some of the food you and your family will need from a food bank before we do anything else.
In most places, there are multiple food banks from which you can get what you and your family need without having to answer any questions. It’s a good idea to look everywhere; some religious organizations, for example, maintain food banks that anybody can visit.
Second, you can apply for food stamps at any government office. Many individuals are unwilling to go through with this, but it’s a simple matter of using a debit card to buy food when money is tight.
Where you live will determine your second option. The cost of rent has increased dramatically in recent months, often by multiples of the previous amount. There is no time to waste if you are in danger of losing your home.
It could be better in the long term to be able to afford the place you are staying, even if it means breaking your lease or losing your security deposit. Depending on the size of your family, you may need to have a discussion with your kids about sharing a room.
Some younger families are even moving in with their grandparents on the same property, sharing the house, or even constructing a tiny house, or settling into a camper in the backyard until they can get their financial affairs in order.
As a third option, you could think about trading in your current vehicle for something smaller. Vehicles are in short supply and fetch higher prices than usual, so you might earn more for yours if you choose to sell them now.
Then you can get something that will last, even if it’s not as high-end as what you were using before. Some folks even opt for an entirely different means of transportation.
A person may decide to ride a motorcycle or pedal to work instead of driving a gas-guzzling automobile if doing so is practical in terms of both time and distance.
The other option is to carpool with other employees. By sharing rides, you can save money on gas and on maintenance for your personal vehicle.
You may love where you work and the people you work with, but if the pay isn’t what you need or want, there are many other employers pleading for you to come work for them. This may be the most difficult choice you’ve had to make so far.
You can feel like you’ve taken a step back in status with the new type of job you’ve taken. In order to stay afloat, several retail chains are offering higher starting salaries to attract and retain new employees. This means that stocking shelves might potentially be more lucrative than working in an office.
Reevaluating your financial strategy monthly is good practice.
When the situation has stabilized and you feel less strained, it’s important to examine your financial condition at regular intervals (at least once every four weeks).
In that manner, you may assess whether or not your current spending habits can be further refined. You can also renegotiate with your creditors to see whether they can reduce your interest rate.
Create a list of everything you want to look at to determine if there is room for improvement. One day you’ll be able to relax, see how much better off you are financially and start reintroducing some of the creature’s comforts you’ve missed, but in a way that doesn’t put your future security in jeopardy.