Making your money stretch far enough can sometimes feel like an impossible task. If you feel like you don’t have control over your finances, here are 9 things you can do today to feel better about your money worries.
1. Identify the cause of the worry
What is it that is causing anxiety? Identifying the cause of money worries can help you formulate a plan.
Your expenses are more than your income: you spend more than you earn
You can’t seem to save: you live payday to payday and find it impossible to save
Job loss or redundancy: being out of work, even temporarily, can cause financial stress
Debt: if you’ve borrowed more than you can afford to pay back, you could be struggling to manage your debt
2. Face your fears
The worse thing you can do is avoiding the problem. If you can’t pay your debt, then speak to the lender and find out if there is an alternative payment plan or seek professional advice. Don’t let the problem get out of control.
3. Stay healthy
Anxiety can have a knock-on effect such as lack of sleep or loss of appetite. Some people find themselves eating more and consuming more alcohol. All of these things could make your situation worse. You need to look after your physical health or the added stress could make you ill.
4. Focus on what you can change today
If you can’t resolve a problem, then worrying won’t help. Concentrate on taking positive actions and focus on things that you have control over.
5. Don’t obsess over money
Money is not the most important thing in the world after all. Constantly thinking about all the things you can’t afford and all the things you wish you had isn’t productive whatsoever. Focus on the good things in your life; friends, family, good health, your job, hobbies. Work on changing your mindset to the positive.
6. Budget your money
When you feel like you aren’t in control, it is easy to make yourself stressed. If you don’t control your spending, this could be the cause of your money worries. Take some time to make a realistic budget, setting out how much you will spend on bills, food, petrol, clothing and treats. Once you have a plan, make sure you stick to it.
7. Spend less than you earn
If you aren’t tracking what you spend money on, it can be easy to spend more than you realise. Keep a record of what you spend and work out where you can cut back. Could you take a packed lunch instead of buying lunch every day? Could you walk more to save money on petrol? Maybe you could suggest a night in with friends rather than spending money on a night out.
8. Be honest with yourself
Look at your income and your outgoings. Where are the problems? You need to be honest with yourself about what actions you can take. Do you need to cut back? Is your spending out of control? Are you wasting money? Have you borrowed more than you can afford?
9. Ask for help
There’s nothing wrong with asking for a little help and support if you need it. Simply talking things through with a friend or family member can help you feel better. Alternatively, it might be time to speak to a professional debt adviser or financial specialist. Citizens Advice is a good starting point.
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