Everyone experiences financial stress from time to time. Whether you suddenly lost your job or you find yourself with a budget that no longer fits your needs, this stress is a normal part of life.
Financial stress can be resolved, but first, you must face reality, admit there’s a problem, and take positive action to regain control over your finances by creating a strategy. Follow these seven simple steps to achieve financial freedom, and say goodbye to your money worries.
1. Notice the Warning Signs
One of the first things to do is recognise when you’re facing financial stress. If you don’t acknowledge these feelings, you can’t take action to change them.
Sometimes it’s not always easy to identify the problem. It might feel so normal that it’s just another part of your daily existence. Ask yourself if you’ve experienced any of these warning signs of financial stress:
- Do you dread opening the mail for fear that it could be another bill?
- Are you juggling maxed-out credit cards while only meeting the minimum monthly repayments?
- Are you frequently late paying bills?
- Are you relying on credit cards to pay for basics like food and rent?
- Are debt collectors harassing you?
- Do you actively avoid thinking about your financial situation?
- Are you losing sleep because of stress about money?
- Are you feeling overwhelmed with no light at the end of the tunnel?
If you feel any of the above, you’re not alone! In today’s culture of excessive consumption, Australians are increasingly finding themselves facing these financial difficulties.
2. Start Taking Action ASAP
Your good credit may have turned into bad debt, but that’s not a sign of weakness. It doesn’t make you less worthy than others.
You’re simply experiencing challenges that millions of others have too. Some of the world’s wealthiest people have at one stage in their lives faced major debt issues. You can and you will recover, as many others have done.
But the problem won’t fix itself. If you keep ignoring the situation then it will only grow worse. You need to deal with it. Recognise that you have a choice. Take command of the problem before things spiral even further out of control. By acknowledging and identifying the precise issues you face, you can effectively find the right solutions.
3. Think Positive
Anxiety constricts your thinking and inhibits your ability to make sound decisions. Negative thoughts aren’t going to help you feel better about your situation.
Adjust your self-talk to improve your mental attitude. Instead of internally saying, “I can’t increase my income,” try saying “I can and I will reduce my spending!”
It’s not easy to remain relaxed about your finances when you’re surrounded by negativity, so avoid the triggers that might spark your anxiety. For example, you can reduce or eliminate the amount of time you spend on financial news reports and websites. If it’s not helping you improve, don’t let it waste your time and energy.
4. Adjust Your Priorities (and Your Spending)
We live in a ‘spend, spend, spend’ culture. Modern society sets an unrealistic expectation of what we think we need and deserve to possess. Do you really need the latest iPhone or a brand new car? What about your daily take away coffee?
A time of financial stress can act as a catalyst to reassess our priorities. For each item you want to buy, ask yourself, “Is this really more important than paying off my credit card debt?” Most likely it’s not. When in doubt, practice the 24-hour rule. This means you wait for 24-hours to pass before purchasing a non-essential item.
5. Focus on Your Real Worth
Money isn’t the only form of wealth. Are you surrounded by great friends and family members? Are you blessed with good health, creativity, or talent? This is what really defines your worth.
Financial stress has been linked to health problems, depression, and relationship breakdowns. Try to maintain a regular healthy lifestyle. Activities like exercise or meditation can help keep you calm and grounded. Spend time with your partner and kids, or immerse yourself in your favourite hobby. Concentrate on the positive aspects of your life and the rest falls into place.
6. Seek Professional Advice
Conversations about money can be stressful, but discussing your financial difficulties with a trusted family member or friend is a great start. However, there are limits to talking to those you know. If you’re really facing a challenging financial situation, it’s a good idea to talk to an expert.
One of our friendly Debt Busters consultants can help you share the burden. We can offer debt management advice and potential solutions that you may have overlooked. View our debt solutions or fill in the enquiry form below to speak with one of our friendly experts.
Always remember to be honest, lay your numbers on the table, and keep an open mind while you discuss your situation and possible solutions. There likely are more options available than you think.
7. Create a Plan
In order to escape the debt trap, you must spend less than you earn. Make a budget that’s appropriate to your income level, ensuring you spend in a manner that frees up money to pay off your debts as rapidly as possible. This is something a professional can help you with.
You can build a secure long-term financial future by changing your spending habits. Rather than wasting money on unnecessary material possessions, reduce your stress by committing to a sensible debt management and savings plan. Make sure your goals are realistic so you can stay committed.
If you relapse into old spending habits, don’t give up too quickly. Learn from your mistakes, adjust your approach, and keep trying. Failure is just part of the learning process. Brighter days are closer than you think, even when the stress feels overwhelming.
Overcome Your Financial Stress
Are you tired of handling your financial stress alone? Stop the negative mindset and make a real change. This isn’t something that you should live with forever.
Talk with our debt advisers to get help with your debt. If you’re experiencing financial stress, then a debt agreement, informal payment arrangement or debt consolidation may be a possible option for you.
After you’ve repaid your debts you’ll gain financial confidence and financial liberation. With your new ability to manage your money, you’ll enjoy a better quality of life and be able to continue saving for future needs – including for your retirement!
We’re here to help! Call us on 1300 368 322 or book a free phone consultation to talk with our friendly team and we can discuss debt management options specially focused on your personal situation.