A recent survey revealed that 90% of Americans experience stress linked to financial issues. In the aftermath of the pandemic, living costs are rising and many people find themselves in a difficult position. If you are worried about money, here are some practical steps to stop stress from getting the better of you.
Take control of your finances
The first step to take when you’re anxious about money is to take stock of your financial situation and seize control of your finances. It’s often easier to ignore bank statements or bills than to front up to your problems, but it’s essential to know what you’re working with. Check all of your balances, open statements and view transactions. Write down how much money you have available in your checking and savings accounts and how much you owe through credit cards, loans and any outstanding bills or payments. Start tracking spending and go through your transactions to see where your money goes. Look for expenses you can trim or eliminate. Set spending limits and start using a monthly budget.
Seek professional advice
Failing to seek help and advice is one of the most common reasons people experience severe stress and anxiety related to financial worries. There is help available, and there’s no shame in reaching out if you’re worried about being in debt, or you can’t afford to pay your bills. It’s much better to contact lenders or speak to a debt adviser early than to watch your debts spiral out of control or incur penalties. No matter your situation, there are options. You don’t have to deal with issues on your own and you shouldn’t be embarrassed to speak to advisers. From charities and financial firms to experts in bankruptcy law and debt management companies, there are lots of routes you can explore. Speaking openly with experts can help you to understand your situation better and identify ways to move forward. It may be possible to delay or defer payments, access debt counseling, consolidate existing debts or file for bankruptcy, for example.
Try to avoid borrowing more money
Borrowing money can be incredibly helpful if you need a short-term loan, or you want to spread the cost of something, but there are risks. If you’re already struggling to pay off credit cards or loans, try to avoid borrowing more money. Focus on lowering expenses and trying to save money by cutting back on non-essentials and shopping around. If you do want to take out a loan or use your credit card, look for the best rates and try to clear your balance as quickly as possible. If you keep on borrowing, you’ll end up paying a lot of interest, which can make it harder to get back into the black.
More and more people are experiencing financial stress and pressure. If you’re worried about money, take control of your finances, try to avoid borrowing and using credit cards and seek professional advice. There are solutions for every problem and you don’t have to navigate difficult situations on your own.