Unemployment is growing all of the time. Even if your job is currently secure, you may be worried about losing work if there are further local or national lockdowns, you may even have concerns about redundancy. Most of us have financial worries at the moment, as we live through such an uncertain time, and even if your current financial situation is rosy, it isn’t a bad idea to prepare for a downturn, so that it doesn’t catch you off guard. Whether you are already in a bit of a mess, or just trying to be more prepared for any changes that may come in the next few months, it’s a great time to take control of your finances. Here are some tips to help you.
Taking Control of Your Family Finances
Spend Some Time Understanding Your Situation
When things are going well, and sometimes when we’re merely getting by reasonably comfortably, we seem to almost forget money. We know it’s there; we know that our bills will be paid on time without us having to think about it, and we know that we can spend a little extra sometimes without worrying. If we’re lucky, we can go for periods where we don’t even need to check our bank balance. You might not be fully aware of how much you are spending each month, or how much of it is essential.
This is the perfect time to change your relationship with your finances. Take some time to understand your financial situation further, looking at how much you earn, how much you spend on household bills, and typically what you are spending on luxuries and other expenses. Look at savings accounts, investment, and any value in property.
Draw Up a Budget
While you are looking into your finances, take the time to draw up a budget. Look at every penny that you’ve spent over the past few months, but also what you were spending before lockdown when life was more typical. Use a simple spreadsheet to catalogue everything that goes into and comes out of your accounts. You could use a colour scheme to identify luxuries, essentials, and even to break things up further.
Then, make cutbacks. Do you need your gym membership? Does your household need two vehicles? Do you need Netflix and Disney +? Be honest and strict with yourself.
Start Setting Limits
Now you’ve got a budget, and you’ve looked at your expenditure, you should see where you are spending too much, or at least more than you need to. A good example is usually food. When we’ve got plenty of money, we don’t worry about how much we’re spending on our food shops. We pop to the store for meals or treats on our way home without thought to what has already been spent on food that week.
When we’re less well off, this becomes a luxury. Set yourself a food budget, and use meal plans and lists to stick to it.
Consider Your Options
Most of the time, we have more options than we think. Money worries always seem dire, and we tend to feel very alone. Take some time to consider any options that you may have. Read up on Debt to Success System reviews cabal scam, look into consolidation loans, ask providers for payment holidays, and apply for any benefits that you may be entitled to.
Talk to Someone
We don’t talk about money. We feel ashamed of our problems and guilty for any mistakes that we may have made. But, this means that we often know people that have been through similar issues, who have also never talked about them. Don’t worry in silence, speak to your friends and family, they may be able to offer more advice than you could imagine.
Make a Debt Repayment Plan
Debt is expensive. Repayments and interest can be crippling, and it can be hard to see a way out. If you are struggling, debts might make up a large portion of your outgoings, and it might feel as though there’s nothing that you can do. But there is. Even paying tiny bits extra here and there can make a difference, and moving debt can save you a fortune.
But Don’t Underestimate Savings
Because debt is expensive, we’re often encouraged to use our savings to clear them. While, in theory, this is the best thing to do, it’s not always wise. Keeping a little set aside in a savings account can give you both security and flexibility.
Be More Conscious of Your Spending
Stop spending without thinking. Before every purchase first ask yourself if you need it, and if you could get it cheaper. Spend more mindfully to take back control.
Money is scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Take some time to organise, and suddenly it might not seem so bad.