We all face tough financial times. Sometimes they’re within our control and sometimes they’re not, but the important thing is to face it head-on and with a positive mindset. If you’re facing mountains of debt, or don’t have enough money to pay your bills, here are seven moves you make this month to change your situation.
1. Start with a positive attitude
As you’re facing tough financial situations it’s easy to get discouraged and start going down a negative path with your mind. But don’t let this happen. It’s important to stay positive while you’re figuring out a plan so you won’t get further stuck in this situation.
Surround yourself with positive people, a supportive community and read stories from other individuals who have overcome the same financial situation you’re facing. Build yourself up with a positive attitude and make sure you’re in the right mindset before getting started. This will be the key to your success, or failure, while working through this tough phase.
2. Pinpoint the financial pitfalls
Why are you facing this financial problem? What’s the reason you’re in this tough spot? Before you can move forward with a good plan, you need to step back re-evaluate what decisions you made that landed you in this position.
Do you have a cash flow problem and need to find ways to earn more money? Do you have a spending problem and need help cutting back your expenses? Or maybe it’s a combination of both income and expenses, so you’ll need to get into the habit of working with a budget. Once you understand the source of your financial pitfall you’ll be able to move to the next step and create a plan to overcome it successfully.
3. Create a plan of action
Depending on what your financial pitfall is, your plan of action will be a bit different, but generally all money problems stem from two sources: not sticking to a budget or not earning enough money to pay the bills. The more sacrifices you’re willing to make right now, the less time it will take you to get through this financial bind. Otherwise you can slowly start to change your financial habits towards spending less and earning more as part of a long-term strategy.
Some solutions are as simple as calling a creditor to ask for an interest decrease, or asking what options are available if you can’t pay your bills. Another simple solution is to start getting on a budget by listing out all your bills and expenses for each month, followed by how much you earn.
What’s the difference you need to make up? Where can you cut costs? What jobs can you start working at nights and on weekends to help fill in the gaps? Finding the answers to these questions will help you formulate a plan of action.
4. Stay committed to the process
In the same vein as having a positive attitude, it’s important to be fully committed to the process and not seek out a shortcut or way to quit early. Just like there are no shortcuts to getting healthy and losing weight, there are no shortcuts to getting out of debt or building wealth.
All of these things take time, discipline and staying committed to the entire process. Just be patient and know that what’s you’ve developed a plan of action, you’re well on your way to seeing the changes in your money that you desire.
5. Reach out to those you can trust
Having a group of people you can trust supporting you during this period will be a tremendous help in getting you through this tough financial time. Reach out to family or close friends who you can trust to give you the support and advice you need. Try to avoid individuals who are having the same financial troubles as you, and seek out people who have overcome this or in the process of getting the results you’re aiming to see.
If you’re not comfortable with disclosing your financial details to a friend or family member, consider working with a financial advisor who can give you unbiased, but helpful, support and guidance. Finding someone you can trust will help you keep perspective during this period of time and allow you to receive much-needed encouragement.
6. Place a priority on saving money
Once you have a plan in place and are making changes to aid in your financial situation, the next step is to place a priority on saving and invest for the future. You don’t want to get back into this tough spot with your money again, so work on creating a backup plan to prevent this from happening in the future.
Establish an automatic savings plan for emergencies, travel, big purchases, furniture, home decor and supplies, debt payoff, as well as any other goals you have. This way when you need to pull money to cover expenses in these categories you will have the funds already set aside. No more digging into your general savings fund or putting large purchases on a credit card.
7. Know you can’t control everything
Even with all the planning and sacrificing, there’s just no way to control what happens with your finances. You can’t control the job market, the economy or what emergency expense will pop up next week. However, the next best thing is to accept this and do what you can to prepare for these events.
Instead of stressing out about the things you can’t control, focus on what you can control. Keep everything in proper perspective and do what you can to manage the situation as best as possible. Make changes accordingly and accept the things you can live without until your reach your goals. This process won’t take forever, so keep your eyes on the prize and know that it will soon be over.
Don’t give up! You can do it. Making these moves will help you get through the tough financial times and make a plan to avoid the same mistakes in the future.