Most of us have been there. Those months where things get tighter or when unexpected expenses take over and make your financial situation seem dire. It can be awfully stressful. But there are some things you can think about and do to help your situation.
1. Try not to stress. So much more easily said than done, but psychologically worrying and stressing about money will make it worse. Worry, fear and doubt usually paralyze more than they actually help. Write your thoughts out, talk to a friend or seek some kind of financial counseling. It will be better to deal with your financial problems with a clear head.
2. Prioritize. If you can’t pay your bills, you’ll need to prioritize your bills. Personally I think food and your mortgage/rent are the most important. Remember that other bills are sometimes negotiable. If you can’t pay your credit card bills, call them and work something out. So often people will work with you if you’ll just ask.
3. Cut back. This is tough, but it’s a very easy way to take off some pressure. You don’t NEED cable or the most expensive phone package. Think about cutting back and relieving that stress. Even a couple hundred dollars a month will help a ton.
4. Plan, plan, plan! I can’t even begin to explain how much this has helped us. Anytime we’ve been in a financial bind, we feel better just planning our strategy. It also brings my husband and I closer when we can communicate about these things more.
5. Spend $10 on yourself. I know this sounds counterproductive, but “buying stuff” helps me save. The mentality of “I can’t buy this” or “I can’t afford that” is very taxing on the psyche. Sometimes something as simple as a $10 bottle of nail polish will get you through months of less spending and even cutting back. It’s purely psychological, but it helps me.
What do you do when finances get tight?
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