Over 25% of American adults worry about money all the time, according to a 2019 poll. With the world reeling from an unprecedented public health crisis, many more may be concerned about getting into debt or struggling to keep a roof over their head. If you’re panicking about your finances, or you can’t stop thinking about money, here are some steps you can take today.
Contact your bank and mortgage and credit card providers
The Coronavirus pandemic has hit businesses and individuals all over the world, and many people may now be struggling to pay bills, keep up with mortgage payments and cover the minimum payment on their credit cards. Banks and lenders have reacted to the situation by launching a series of measures that are designed to reduce the risk of debts spiraling and assist those whose income has been negatively impacted by lockdowns. Many organizations are offering payment holidays, interest-free overdrafts up to a certain amount and mortgage breaks. If you are finding it hard to keep paying bills, or you’re worried that you won’t be able to afford your mortgage repayment in the coming weeks, don’t hesitate to contact your provider and talk to an adviser at your bank. You may find that you could benefit from a whole host of measures that could make life much easier.
Put a stop to overspending
Many of us spend more than we need to. This is fine if you can afford to purchase non-essentials and the odd treat, but if your income has dropped, you run a business that is struggling, or you’re unsure when you’ll be able to return to work, cutting out luxury items is an excellent way to reduce spending. Have a good look at where your money is going and think about where you could make savings. If you tend to indulge in treats at the supermarket, for example, you could save a fortune by planning a menu and creating a list in advance and avoiding special offers and promotions that aren’t relevant to you. Shopping online can also help you resist the temptation of neon signs and eye-catching displays and it also enables you to keep tabs on your running total.
In addition to saving on groceries, you could also look into canceling subscriptions and memberships you don’t use or need, and it’s also wise to shop around for the best deals on insurance. If you have premiums that are due for renewal, for example, spend a few minutes comparing prices and policies online. You could save a substantial amount by switching provider and taking advantage of incentives and offers for new customers.
Tackle debt head-on
Money worries are one of the most common causes of stress among adults, and getting into debt can be distressing and scary. If you owe money, and you’re worried that your situation is getting out of control, the sooner you act the better. If you’re stressed all the time, or you can’t stop thinking about how you’re going to pay your bills, there is help out there. Talking to a debt counselor or contacting a credit counseling service can help you clarify the kind of steps you can take and provide information and guidance linked to getting out of debt for good. There are several solutions that are available to help those who have outstanding debts, and you might find that it’s actually a lot easier to improve your situation than you anticipated. A consumer proposal may be an option if you have no way to clear debts, but in many cases, there are other options you can explore before considering this approach. Many people who are experiencing money worries keep their concerns and thoughts to themselves, and this can exacerbate stress and anxiety. Seeking help from an adviser can have an incredibly positive impact on mental wellbeing and stress levels.
We all go through tough times and experience stress and worry. Whether you’ve lost your job, your business is failing, you’ve broken up with your partner or family ties are strained, talking can help. Whatever is getting you down or keeping you awake at night, reach out to family members or friends you trust and share the anxieties that are whizzing around your head. Talking can be cathartic because it enables you to get things off your chest, and it can also provide perspective. We can sometimes build situations up inside our minds, and once released into the open, they don’t seem as bad. You can rationalize scenarios and feelings more effectively when you speak about them and this can help you focus on solutions, rather than problems. When talking about money issues, it’s beneficial to seek expert help at the same time as sharing any worries with a partner or a close relative or friend.
Look for ways to increase your earnings
Many people find themselves in debt because they simply don’t earn enough to live comfortably. If you wish you earned more, why not look for ways to give your income a boost? There are various avenues you could pursue, from investing in yourself and learning new skills and studying online to setting up a side hustle. It may also be possible to increase your salary by going freelance, rather than working for an employer, or by using your talents or passions to supplement your wage. If you’ve discovered that you’re a master baker during the lockdown, or you’ve enjoyed spending more time blogging, for example, there are ways of monetizing hobbies and interests. If you’ve been on the same wage for a long period of time, or opportunities to progress at work are limited, it may also be worth looking for jobs at other companies or asking your employer about the possibility of a raise.
Money worries are likely to impact millions of people all over the world in the coming weeks and months. If you’re stressed, or you’re anxious as a result of your financial situation, hopefully, this guide will help you to feel calmer and to take steps towards finding solutions.