9/12/17

There Is No Magic Money Tree! It's Time To Get Serious With Your Finances!


By on 9/12/2017 04:19:00 AM

When you think about the thing in life that causes you the most stress, what is it? Is it work? The pressures of parenting? Keeping your personal relationships going? Sure, all of these things can be pretty tough to deal with a lot of the time, but there's one thing that can take just about every aspect of your life and make it a thousand times more stressful than it would be otherwise: money. It really shouldn't come as much of a surprise that a lot of the most common causes of stress in many people's lives are directly related to their finances. However, as much as it can feel as though your financial situation is something that's thrust upon you (which is sometimes is), there's something that a lot of people, you included, might do well to admit to themselves:

You're probably bad with money.

Now, don't worry, that's not as disastrous as it might seem. The truth is that most people are pretty bad with money when it comes down to it. However, that doesn't have to be the case. As with just about every aspect of your life, you have far more control over your finances than you think. If you really want to erase as much financial stress from your life as possible, then it's time that you start thinking carefully about exactly how you're going to start taking them more seriously.

Start saving

cash, coins, money

One of the biggest issues that most people have when it comes to their finances is that they don't have some form of safety net to help them when they end up in some kind of financial danger. No matter how careful you are in life, there are always going to be occasions that creep up on you where you end up having to pay more money for something than you were expecting. Whether it's a disaster at home, health problems, a period of unemployment, or you need to get your car replaced, the idea of having to dip into your, already stretched, income can be pretty scary for a lot of people. That's why it's so important to start setting aside some money into a savings account right away. Now, you might be thinking that you need to have a lot of money leftover each month in order to start saving, but the truth is that you really only need a little bit. Even a tiny bit of money going into a savings account each month can add up surprisingly quickly. That way, if disaster should strike, then you're not going to be left out of pocket. Of course, that raises the question "what if you don't have anything leftover at the end of each month?"

Cut back on your spending

The reality is this, unless you're in a particularly difficult financial situation, you will almost always have at least some money at the end of each month. The real reason that most of us end up with an empty bank account is that many people simply don't know how much they're spending on a regular basis. Now you might be thinking that you rarely spend money on luxuries and that you're constantly living within your means. But most of the time this simply means that you're not splashing out on huge purchases. The real danger doesn't come from those big spending sprees but from the little bits of spending that we all do over the course of a month. A little bit here, a little bit there, it might not seem like a big deal but it all adds up, and fast. If you really want to have more money at the end of each month, think twice before buying something that you don't need, even if it's cheap it can make a big difference to your bank account at the end of each month.

Keep an eye on your bills

bank, banknotes, bills

Of course, frivolous spending isn't going to be your only outgoing on a monthly basis. We all have bills to pay, and we've come to terms with the fact that most of them are unavoidable. However, just because there are bills that you have to pay every month, doesn't mean that there aren't ways you could be paying less. For one thing, there may be things that you're paying for regularly that you simply don't need. Sure, you might want to hang onto Netflix. But do you really need Amazon, Hulu, HBO Go and all of the other streaming services as well? Cutting back on those kinds of things can instantly reduce your monthly outgoings significantly. Similarly, when it comes to the bills that you need to pay each month like your power, water, and gas bills, you should always be on the lookout for the best possible deals. Just because you have to pay these bills doesn't mean that you should put up with being overcharged. There are plenty of different companies that you can contact in order to find a price that you can more easily manage.

Get yourself back to square one

One of the scariest things that many people have to deal with when it comes to their finances is the fact that a lot of us are dealing with large amounts of debt. Now, when people hear the term "debt" they tend to panic but the truth is that debt is just a fundamental part of modern life. Of course, that doesn't make it any less scary when you've got a bunch of creditors breathing down your neck. If you want to reduce some of that stress then getting back to square one is the best way to do it. Taking out a loan to cover debt might sound counterintuitive but taking out a single loan from a company like Personal Loan Offers to consolidate all of your other debts together can be a great way to not only reduce your payments but make your debts far easier to keep track of since there's only one instead of dozens. Sure, you should still be fully aware of things like interest rates and repayment periods, but it's much easier to do that for one single loan than for a bunch of different ones.   

Create a budget

Black Calculator Near Ballpoint Pen on White Printed Paper

Of course, getting your finances back on track isn't going to mean a thing if you just end up falling into the same bad habits over and over. One of the very best ways to avoid this is to create a detailed household budget and stick to it. It's even better if you print it out and stick it somewhere you can always see it. That way you know exactly what you have coming in, what's going out, what you have allocated for luxury spending, and what you should be putting away in a savings account. It might seem like a small touch but having that physical reinforcement of what you can and can't actually afford is a great way to get you into some much better financial habits.

Now, even if you follow all of these steps, there's still no 100% guarantee that you're going to be completely out of any financial danger, or that money isn't still going to be a cause of stress in your life. If that's still the case, then there are plenty of resources out there to help you, including organizations that are fully dedicated to helping people get control over their finances and pull themselves out of debt. No matter how serious your money troubles might be, there are always things that you can do to help yourself.


About Angela

Angela is a freelance writer and blogger, blessed with 3 daughters, 4 cats, 1 needy dog, and 1 very supportive husband.

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