If you’ve got money worries, you’re not alone. Studies show that money is one of the most common sources of stress and anxiety. If you’re just about surviving from one payday to the next, or you’re struggling with debts, you’ve come to the right place. The future may not seem all that bright, but it is possible to find the light at the end of the tunnel. Here are some steps to follow if you’re keen to figure out your finances.
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Work out exactly where you are
It’s very easy to lose track of where you are in terms of your financial situation. If you’re making payments on a daily basis, you’ve got credit and store cards, or you’re paying off a loan, you may have lost track of how much money you’ve got available in your checking account, how much you have saved, and how much you owe. The first step to taking a firmer grip on your finances is working out exactly where you stand. Check all your balances, open statements, and write down the numbers. It can be daunting to tackle things head on, especially if you tend to ignore statements and hope for the best when you go to the ATM, but the sooner you understand what you’re dealing with, the better.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It’s very common to be in debt. Many of us borrow money, usually to buy a house, a new car or to cover outstanding bills. If you’re on track with mortgage payments and you’re paying off your credit cards every month, this is a good sign. However, if you’re at risk of missing loan and mortgage repayments, your card statements don’t make for pleasant reading, and you’re wondering how you’re going to pay final demands, it’s time to ask for help. Financial advisers can discuss your options with you, and help you work out a plan that will enable you to get back on track. It may be possible to come to an arrangement with a creditor to delay paying a bill, or if you’re really up against it, government approved debt consolidation programs may be a viable option. Nobody likes to ask for assistance when it comes to money, but the sooner you take action, the higher the chances of getting through the rough patches and reaching the other side.
Evaluate your spending
Many of us spend more money than we need to. If you’re finding it difficult to keep up with your rent or bills, take a look at where your money is going. Are there areas where you could cut back? Do you regularly throw away food because you’ve bought too much, are there items of clothing hanging in your wardrobe with the tags still attached, or have you been with same insurance or energy suppliers for as long as you can remember? Being stricter with shopping, making a budget and shopping around for the best deals could save you a substantial amount of money every month.
If you’re having a tough time balancing the books at the moment, try not to panic. There is help out there, and it may be possible to make a few changes to the way you shop, save and spend to make the future look a little brighter.