If somebody asked you how you felt about your financial situation, what would you say? Are you happy, is there room for improvement, or are money worries a continual source of stress or anxiety? If you feel that the future could be a lot brighter, this guide should come in handy. Here are some steps to take today.
Get real about your finances
Be honest. When was the last time you checked your bank balance and your credit card statements? Many of us are guilty of burying our heads when it comes to our finances. If you don’t know how much you’re spending on a weekly or monthly basis, you may be leaving yourself open to unexpected surprises and cash flow issues. If you’ve thrown the last few statements on a pile of letters on the kitchen table or you take cash out of an ATM without looking at your balance first, it’s time to get real about your finances. Sit down with a pen and paper, check all your accounts, and work out exactly where you are. There may be nothing to worry about, but you might also find that you’re living beyond your means.
Try and deal with debt
If you’re in debt, this isn’t necessarily a problem, but you may benefit from trying to wipe the slate clean. If you’ve got debts in the form of a loan or a mortgage, and you’re able to keep up with repayments, carry on as normal. If, however, you’ve got credit cards that are spiraling out of control, you’ve got outstanding bills to pay or you’re struggling to pay your rent or mortgage, it’s time to take action. The sooner you front up to debts you can’t afford to cover, the better. If you’re in a situation where you don’t have the money to pay creditors, the next step is to seek advice. An expert can provide you with advice based on whether you have unsecured or secured debt, how much money you owe to who and how likely it is that your financial situation will improve. There are various options open to people who can’t settle bills and keep up with repayments, including filing for bankruptcy, taking out a debt consolidation loan, and working with creditors to arrange a repayment schedule.
Sticking to a budget
If you’re guilty of overspending on a regular basis, the best thing you can do is start budgeting. When you have a budget, you know exactly how much money you have available, how much you can afford to spend, and what’s left over at the end. Focus on what you need, rather than what you want, and try and put some money aside every month if you have a little spare cash.
If you’re not quite where you want to be in terms of your financial situation, don’t panic. There are ways to get back on track and start looking forward to a brighter, better future. Front up to problems, take advantage of expert help, advice, and support, and start budgeting to encourage you to save more and spend less.