Are you stressed about money matters over again? You’re not alone. According to research, 30 percent of Americans constantly struggle with their finances.
What could be the problem? Another study suggests that lack of financial literacy is to blame. The situation is so bad that two-thirds of American adults can’t even pass a basic financial literacy test. Imagine that 46 percent have absolutely no retirement savings at all.
Money problems are undoubtedly a major cause of frustration and anxiety among many of us. You might find yourself feeling helpless over unpaid bills and piling debts. What should you do?
Below are the strategies that can help you deal with financial troubles:
Go after the root cause
You’re financially struggling for a reason. And to be able to survive, you need to know what’s causing the problem. Why are you experiencing financial troubles in the first place? Was it due to a recent emergency? Was it because you just made a major purchase? Did you just lose a job? Are you unable to stick to a household budget? Are you spending more than what you earn? List down your financial troubles and take time reflecting why you ended up in those situations. When you know what’s causing the problem, you can easily find the right solution.
Create a plan
You know what’s causing you financial difficulties. Now what? The next step – which is the most important – is to create a plan to address it. This process is going to take some time and a lot of effort… and probably some headache. Explore your options. For example, if you have multiple debts, how do you plan to tackle them? Are you going to consolidate them or address one loan at a time? Should you borrow from friends or family or consider cash advances as financial assistance? List down all possible solutions to your financial problems, paying attention to their pros and cons. You should be able to create a plan that works. Nonetheless, don’t hesitate to have a plan B, C, and D.
Do a budget overhaul
Sometimes, the main reason why we are struggling financially is that we seem to have an unrealistic budget or have a good one but fail to stick to it. Many people overlook the importance of creating a household or personal budget in avoiding financial troubles. But a clear, realistic budget is your first step towards effective financial management. If you haven’t created a budget for a while, do it now. If you’ve been creating a budget but can’t seem to stick to it, revisit your current household budget and see if it suits your financial needs and income.
Save and invest
Once you recovered from your financial setback, there are two important things to do which should lead you to financial freedom in the future: save and invest. Devise a way to manage your debts, save money, and augment your income. Many people do well in saving money but not in investing. The good thing is you don’t need to have a lot to start investing. Check with your financial consultant to learn about your options.
Cultivate good money habits
Supportive habits are the key to a lifelong ability to deal with financial troubles. Take time reflecting on how you use your money. You can do it by taking a look at your expenses for the past few months. You should be able to see a pattern of habits that are either causing you progress or causing you problems. Cultivating good money habits take time and conscious effort. Focus on spending your money in a way that helps you solve the problem. Just keep practicing.
Keep a positive mindset
Last but definitely the most useful: keep a positive mindset. You can’t survive any challenge – be it financial-related or not – if you don’t stay optimistic. Money problems can cause people to engage in negative coping mechanisms which further lead them to more serious problems. When you have financial troubles, face it with a positive attitude. Accept and acknowledge the problem and then proceed to step number one: find the root cause. Then go ahead and create a plan, revisit your budget, and start developing good money habits. You can do it!