Unfortunately, many of us know what being short of money is like. It’s not a nice feeling. It can bring up all kinds of emotions, such as inadequacy, worry, fear, sadness, anxiety, and sometimes anger. This is why it is not uncommon for those with little money to spend to divert it to gambling, or alcohol, or other bad habits that take the person away from experiencing their harmful financial circumstances, or promise a quick escape from them.
If you’re struggling for cash however, it’s important to be more alert and mindful of your situation than ever. First, you need to steward hope, and a belief that you can make it through these difficult times. This can help you focus on what needs to be done, and what might have caused those financial difficulties in the first place. Following a formula of essential best practices can help you overcome that hurdle, restore confidence in yourself, and provide for those most important to you.
While this guide will be by no means exhaustive, we strive to hit on the most important and essential elements of restoring your financial stability. Please, consider:
Achieving An Itemized Viewpoint
Again, when dealing with financial difficulty, the easiest thing in the world to do is bury your head in the sand. If you don’t look at the facts and figures, somehow we think it isn’t quite real, or can be deferred to another day. You might not think you have this attitude, but you likely have at some point in your life. Just think about a Friday night on the town with your friends. You might enjoy a few glasses of wine. Perhaps you might drink a little bit more than that and head to the clubs. You grab some food afterwards. You come back home with your friends and laugh off a great night. Then the morning comes, with its dehydration, pounding headache, and lack of sleep. You roll over and see your debit card on the bedside table. ‘Uh oh,’ you think, ‘what was the damage?’ You grit your teeth as you log into your mobile banking app, terrified of what the number will read.
That nightmarish paragraph above just explained the weekly experience of a majority of students within the Western world. And yet, sometimes this unwillingness to quite know just how much we have spent, or just how much we might ower can stick with us into our adulthood, particularly if problems become complex. If we’re paying one credit card off with another, things become tight and quite worrisome. We may think that looking at these details is like opening Pandora’s box. Of course, a figure cannot harm you, but the recollection of all those bad decisions coming back to bite you can be.
This is where you have to be as clinical as possible. A surgeon does not revel in seeing his patient through the process, but he has to divorce himself from that and complete the job to the best and most complete standard he can. Taking this viewpoint towards your finances can be essential. Note every figure. Track every payment. Every debt being calculated. Every small issues taking place. Present this to an accountant, or a debt charity. Write a realistic action plan based on your income, and contact creditors as to how much you can pay back.
Ironically, the fear of this initial effort can quickly give way to comfort and relief after you achieve this, because all of a sudden you are not staring at a monstrous titan shrouded in the mist, but a creature you can see all the dimensions of. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t, after all.
Consider Bad Practices And Learn From Them
When you resolve your cash issues, it can be extremely easy to fall back into them over time if you learn nothing from your mistakes. This is because our default habits and modes of action can be extremely easy to replicate over time.
Consider your bad practices and why they occur. For example, those who consider spending to be a rational reward for the end of the workweek might find themselves wasting money on takeout food or cocktails in the local bar. It might be that someone who enjoys video games has a habit of pre-ordering new titles no matter what, at $60 a pop. It could be that you’ve been shopping at the most luxurious supermarket for your groceries because you’re accustomed to a certain style of life, despite not having the means to support that as well as you could.
What is the root of these issues? An indulgence? A habit? A desire? Keeping them in track, getting help if needed, and being hyper-aware of anything you do spend can help you avoid the long-term difficulties that come from being unaware of your action. When you put everything under a microscope, the issues that occur can often burn away.
Does this mean you need to practice absolutely perfect financial management? Of course not. But it does mean using the wisest option and implementing self-discipline as you would with anything else. For example, are secured loans bad? Not if you have the correct collateral and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can make the repayments. Then they can actually be quite freeing and worthwhile. And yet some habits, such as abusing credit cards, must never be allowed. Even with finances, management nuance applies.
Become More Aware
Become more aware of good practices to keep. For example, r/PersonalFinance could give you the tools you need and the discussion forum required to overcome certain issues you are experiencing, helping you become a better and more forthright individual when it comes to settling the problems you face. This is very important in the long term. One day, you will be proud to pass on the lessons learnt to your children.
With this advice, we hope you can fall on these best practices when struggling for cash.