So although some things are outside of our control right now what can we be doing to manage financial stress?
These 7 tips on handling financial problems may help you out in coping with financial stress
1. Review your current spending
You can’t create a plan and determine a budget if you don’t have an idea of your current spending and outgoings, so get a grip on this first.
Get your last 6 months of bank statements and if you use cash, estimate what cash you utilize.
To get a better idea of cash outgoings, record it for a weekly period.
Ensure you don’t miss obtaining any relevant statements, for example, if you use PayPal, ensure you get a copy of that statement also.
2. Create a budget
Creating a budget is one of the best ways to manage money and lower financial stress. It may be unliked but it’s necessary and a great way to keep on top of things financially and combat financial worries.
From reviewing your spending in tip 1 you will probably find expenses you can cut down on, eliminate, or find better ways to spend.
Your budget should ensure you cover immediate expenses and obligations like loan repayments.
You should then look at what you can save, if possible.
Also, watch this financial advice video on creating a budget and sticking to it:
3. Track your progress
Track your progress over the shorter term such as days and weeks – keep a spreadsheet of actual expenses so you can compare it with your budget.
After a month, sit down with your partner and determine how you went against the budget.
If you can go below the budget for some items then edit your budget. There may be items in which you need to adjust, but only if it is a necessity such as it being related to an essential item.
If you can put this in practice, you will get a handle on how to overcome financial stress and be good with money.
4. Think about changes
Some changes such as eating healthy can not only help our waistlines and overall health but they can also lead to decreased food spending as we are eating less processed meals.
This is a good example of thinking about not only the financial benefits but health or other benefits related to certain changes.
Right now for example is also a great time to be doing DIY activities around the house if you’re a homeowner.
Learning how to cook if you don’t regularly cook is another great example of an activity we can do right now which can help our finances not only right now but also post COVID-19.
5. Consolidate debt or get the best deal
If you have debts across multiple providers or products then consider whether you are getting the best deal.
For example, you may be able to consolidate a range of high-interest credit cards under a personal loan with a lower interest rate or even under your home loan or line of credit facility.
Seek help from a financial advisor if required.
If you have a home or investment loan and haven’t reviewed it in a while then check your interest rate. You may be able to get a better rate by changing providers.
6. Think creatively
Be innovative around how you can save to reduce your financial stress.
Consider looking at deal/coupon sites or consider what items you regularly use that you can purchase in bulk at the supermarket or discount store.
Simon Choi is a mental health advocate and small business founder. He founded Standout Bands which supports Beyond Blue and allows him to write for his mental health blog "Healthy Minds"
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