Whether we like it or not, money makes the world go round, which is why when you find yourself in a personal financial situation not to your liking, it can cause anxiety and distress. You may struggle with outstanding debt or find your monthly income isn’t stretching quite as far as you’d hope. While there is no magic money tree, there are a variety of ways to help improve your financial situation, and you’ll sleep better at night with improved stability.
Whether you find clothes shopping impossible to resist, or you dine out every night, it’s vital when you’re assessing your current financial situation that you are 100% honest with where your money goes from day to day. Many banks now offer online statements to help you view where and what you’ve spent your money on, as well as showing you your current subscription payments to sites such as Netflix. It may surprise you exactly where you’ve spent your money, and how much you’ve spent on certain activities, like weekly movie trips or take-outs every Friday night.
Identify Stress Points
Now you’ve seen your outgoings you can identify stress points throughout the month and where you’ve spent the most money. This may be that your weekly food shop has increased in value recently, or that you are spending more money than necessary on household bills. Once these stress points have been found, you can sit down to create a budget that works for you. Your budget can be as simple or as complicated as you would like, from the basic incomings and outgoings monthly to day-to-day spending. Your budget should allow for ‘what if’ outgoings, such as your car needing extra maintenance or your home bills suddenly increasing. It may be worthwhile using dates in your budget to identify when money is leaving your account if you have subscriptions set up to various companies.
When planning your budget, there’s little point of creating a budget that you will struggle to adhere to. While seeing the numbers on the screen in front of you may make you want to decrease how much you spend on certain outgoings, it may not be realistically possible to decrease them as much as you’d like. You may want to reduce costs on home packages like your TV package and WiFi provider, but you find you are getting the best deal that you can at the moment.
Monitor Your Situation
Keeping track of your ongoing situation and regularly updating your budget will try to minimize any unexpected or new costs. By monitoring the situation and making a note of any significant dates, you may find you are able to reduce outgoings further by changing service providers of bills when your current contracts expire. For example, your phone, TV and your broadband providers may offer new deals to keep your custom, or you may find better deals shopping elsewhere.
Make The Most of Your Income
There are a variety of money-saving techniques you can apply to help your monthly income stretch further. Shopping around for household products and your grocery shopping may seem like an effort, but it’s worthwhile to help ensure you get the most for your money. It may be easier to visit one shop alone, but you may find one shop has a deal on one household essential, while another has an offer on your favorite food. Research online for any money saving vouchers that you can use for groceries, trips to the movies and even eating out.
Borrow If Need Be
If you are still finding living from pay check to pay check is a struggle, there are solutions for short-term financial aid in the shape of personal loans. These loans are often capped at a certain amount you can borrow, such as $5,000, and may start from as little as $100. It’s important that you assess the alternatives of a loan before you decide on reaching out for extra help. Do your research before choosing a loan provider. However, many companies will provide you with helpful advice and information, both in person and online, such as Bonsai Finance. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and gather as much knowledge as you possibly can from professional consultants before pressing ahead with financial aid, as the repayment amount will vary from lender to lender, as well as the APR they add to each loan amount.
Be Careful With Credit Cards
A credit card may seem like a great idea when you are in need of some quick cash but flashing the card can have damaging consequences for your financial situation. Credit card companies hook people in with offering a large credit limit, but often people don’t fully understand or even read the small print about using a credit card. Not only are you effectively spending money you don’t have, but the companies may also set repayments at an alarmingly high-interest rate. This can set your budget further and further away from what you’d like your financial situation to be. If you miss repayments on your credit card, it can affect not only your health and wellbeing by adding further pressure, but it can affect your credit rating. Your credit rating can affect everything from smartphone contracts to mortgage applications. Bad credit shows other companies that you have in the past failed to keep up with payments, and this can prevent them wanting to lend you any money or if they are a service provider, refuse you from their services. It is vital that you repay any outstanding debts as soon as you possibly can. This will improve your credit rating and increase the likelihood of you being offered help and services in future.
Your financial situation doesn’t have to be a drain on your time, energy, health and money. By following a few steps, you can take back control of your spending habits and try to minimize any outstanding debt you may have. By improving your financial situation, you’ll find stability and harmony, and you may even find you can enjoy yourself more when out and about!