With the continued rise of inflation, interest rates and the overall cost of living, the uncertainty can be scary for many individuals. But don’t fret! We have some tips and suggestions to help you manage your financial stress and help power through these latest economic changes.
Prioritize What You Can Control
It can be easy to feel like you have no control over your financial situation, especially with the economy in flux. However, swelling on things you cannot fix will only cause more stress. Instead, we recommend focusing on what you CAN control within your situation. For instance, look at your phone bill and services to see if you can reduce the cost (even temporarily), review your grocery bill and look for places to switch to cheaper brands or alternatives, and perhaps buy in bulk. You’ll not only save money, but you will feel like you have more control and help reduce stress. Writing down your feelings can help to reduce stress. So, when you start feeling overwhelmed or stressed about your money, write down what is causing it and how it makes you feel.
Pay Essential Bills
Knowing which bills are most important to pay first can help reduce anxiety as you’re not scrambling to decide what to do. If you struggle to pay your monthly bills, prioritizing them can help you gain some control. In some cases, prioritizing your bills can also help uncover unnecessary spending, and you may find something that can be eliminated (even temporarily).
Budgeting is a great way to keep your finances in order and reduce stress. Having a plan for spending your money can also help alleviate some of the financial strain of not having enough money.
Automate Payments and Savings
If you’re struggling to keep up with your bills and payments or are finding that you keep saying you’ll save money but aren’t, considering automation for your finances can be a step in the right direction. Ensuring that your bills are paid on time will help reduce stress and protect you from wasting money on penalties for missed payments. Alternatively, you can set up automatic money transfers on the days you are paid to move funds into a separate savings account before you see it. Thereby reducing the likelihood that you’ll skip adding to your savings that month or use that money elsewhere.
Find Ways to Earn More Money
When cash flow is a problem and you are struggling to afford your current lifestyle, looking for ways to earn additional money can be a lifesaver! Consider part-time work for the weekends, consulting in your area of expertise or picking up extra hours at your current place of work. Now is a great time to discuss with your manager if you are due for a raise.
Talk to Your Mortgage Professional
For most people, their mortgage is their most significant monthly bill. If you are feeling the financial crunch, now is a great time to talk to your mortgage broker about changing your payment schedule or even looking for a different mortgage product with better rates (ideally if you are at the end of your term).
There may be some options available to you that you never knew about. Remember that your mortgage company wants to keep your business and often goes out of its way to help you. For most people, their mortgage is their most significant monthly bill. Feel free, to be honest about your situation and ask about your options.