Financial problems can strike without warning, causing collateral damage, instant panic, and emotional meltdowns.
You come home after a great day at work only to find an ominous letter in the mail. You open the envelope against your better judgment. It’s a demand letter asking you to pay more than you have in your bank account. You’re outraged. The original amount of the bill, whose invoices you’ve carefully tiptoed around for several months, now has many late fees and other “unfair” penalties tacked to it.
If this or some other awful scenario is part of your reality, it’s time for a sea change. Choosing the path of least resistance for earning, spending, and saving will only lead to more heartbreak
Here are a few proven solutions to change your financial life for the better:
Face Your Debt
Debt can creep up on you. It often occurs because credit cards give you the power to spend more than you earn. Quick and easy access to available cash often results in impulse spending and buying nicer things than you could afford with your salary alone.
If you find yourself besieged by credit card debt (or any other debt), the worst thing you can do is to ignore it, hoping it will go away.
A mature approach is to seek debt repayment advice. Jackson Funding, for instance, can tell you how to restructure your debt with a consolidated loan. This low-interest loan covers all your bills. Now, instead of paying on many accounts throughout the month, you’ll make a single payment once a month to service the consolidated loan. This loan also drops or cuts interest rates and other fees added to your principal.
If you’re not earning enough, your life will seem hard. It’s obvious you’re not earning enough if you struggle to meet your basic needs, like rent, utilities, and groceries
Although you might feel helpless trying to figure out how to get your company to pay you closer to your real value as an employee, this ceiling on your income is an illusion. There are many other ways that you can earn more money every week.
You can, for instance, learn more to earn more. If, say, you love to journal, consider signing up for an online course on how to set up and monetize a blog. Instead of journaling, you’re now sharing your thoughts and feelings about things that matter to you.
Another simple idea is to get a side hustle, such as providing photography services, house cleaning, or repair work.
Although frugality is championed as a virtue, it’s not the best way to improve your finances. Instead, be more selective about the things you buy. When you go to the grocery store, you’ll save money by avoiding the junk food aisle. When you get car insurance, you’ll save money by shopping around for the best value.
Spending less is not about deprivation but about making the best use of your money. Depriving yourself is as bad as overindulging. Both extremes have drawbacks. It’s better to take a balanced, sensible approach on how you spend your money.
Save a Little
Saving a little from your paycheck is fraught with challenges.
It’s challenging from a practical point of view. It’s difficult to save if you’re not earning enough to consider any of your income surplus money, something that you can conveniently tuck away for another day.
It’s also challenging from a psychological point of view. It’s difficult to save in a consumer-based society where clever advertising frequently encourages you to get things you want and need to decrease pain and increase pleasure.
Still, it’s always nice to have savings. You can use this money for a high ticket purchase, for an emergency, or for an investment. The power of savings comes from the simple fact that a small amount grows in size over time.
The trick is to find a savings strategy that works for you. You might, for instance, lean into it by only saving a little in the beginning. Another popular strategy is to ask your company to siphon a percentage of your salary straight to your savings account so that you don’t even notice you’re saving.
You can change your reality with the right strategy. Resolve financial angst by paying down your debt, increasing your income, spending money wisely, and squirreling away a small amount each month into a savings account.