A Few Rules To Keep Yourself Centered During The Hard Times
It’s not an unusual position to find yourself in at all.
Lots of people find themselves taking on too much debt or finding their income suddenly cut. It can feel like you’re spiraling into a hole you can’t climb out of. But there’s no reason to give up hope, yet. There are people relying on you to be strong. What you need to center yourself during the most turbulent of times is a strategy.
Here, we’ll look at what that strategy should be.
Start budgeting everything
When it comes to money, one rule everyone should stick to is the rule of pre-emptive budgeting.
We’re talking about looking at all your income as soon as you get and deciding where exactly it should be spent. It will help you get a better idea of your essential expenditures, non-essential bills and expenses, and the rest of your money. It can help you spot the places you could stand to cut down costs, as well as costs you could cut out entirely. This leaves more aside, which can be put towards tackling debt.
By finding that extra and paying it first, you ensure you aren’t spending to the point you leave yourself little to take care of that debt.
Cut down those bills
The household service bills are going to make up a lot of your non-essential expenses.
We’re not going to suggest that you cut out things like paying for line rental or internet access. There are some things you should only expect to be able to keep. However, that doesn’t mean you should be paying so much for them.
Instead, look at your bill in detail and see if there are any extras you could cut down. Then get on the phone with your provider and talk about reducing your bills.
If you need to, don’t be afraid to tell them you’re leaving for a competitor. If you haven’t done it yet, look at your bank account for subscriptions you’re not using, like streaming or audiobook subscriptions you’ve forgotten about.
It’s time to start trimming the fat off your budget.
After you’ve settled the non-essential expenses, that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily done with saving, either.
Even essential bills like water and your energy bills have plenty of potential for saving. It just so happens that those saving methods are also one of the easiest ways to get more environmentally friendly, so you’re hitting two birds with one stone.
For instance, when your current light bulb blows, consider spending just a little extra on a LED bulb that will last longer and save you power at the same time. Like bits of maintenance like taking care of your air conditioning and cleaning any ventilation around the home will make your HVAC system a lot more efficient, too.
Talk to your creditors
If you’re in trouble, the people that you owe money to might be the last people you want to talk to.
You might assume that all creditors are like sharks swimming around your leaking boat. However, the truth is that institutions like credit unions, banks, and credit card providers might be a lot more willing to help than you assume.
They don’t want to have to chase you for money so they might be more willing to help you negotiate a repayment plan that you’re able to do with. If you don’t talk to them, they are a lot more likely to pass your case on to a collections agency. It’s those agencies that you need to fear. There’s very little room for negotiation with them.
Be open to maneuvering your debt around
It might not be the amount of money that you have to pay that is the problem. Sometimes, it’s simply the amount of time that you have to pay it in.
Cutting down on monthly bills might not be enough when you have a few weeks to take care of a large payment. If that’s the case, then look into getting your debt consolidated and moving it to another creditor.
Even if you don’t have great credit, there are options for emergency funding that could help you take care of it in the long term.
Just make sure that you will be able to pay off the loan and interest in the agreed terms or else you’re only making your problem worse.
Take care of yourself
It’s not only your bank account that can suffer in times of economic hardship. You should be just as concerned about how you’re handling it emotionally and mentally.
Money stress is a real concern. The way that stress can impact your decision-making abilities means that it can even sabotage your plans to deal with debt.
So, take the time to relax and find your ways to deal with that stress. Take some time to meditate in the morning. Create a stress journal, that helps you gain a new perspective and give yourself a little distance from your concerns.
If you find yourself struggling to cope, don’t be afraid to look for some help.
Talk about it
One of the ways you can deal with that stress is by getting a little sense of perspective that isn’t your own. Don’t feel like you have to hide your money woes from your close family. Talk about it.
For one, they can give you the emotional support you need. But they will be a lot more important in the fact that they’re aware of the stresses on the family finances. Your partner and older children might be able to help in building up the savings you need. Even the younger children might surprise you with how conscientious they can be when they know that you need them to be.
Keeping it all pent up to yourself is going to help absolutely no-one.
The single thing that will help you deal with any financial hardship is looking at it head one. Don’t try to ignore it, letting it grow more and more serious. Talk about it. Plan for it. Start looking at opportunities to deal with it.