Financial struggle is the worst. You can’t go out with your friends on the weekend and forget about trying to keep up with the Joneses. If it’s really bad, then you might live check to check and worry about rent every month. You might even struggle to pay for groceries.
You feel like you’re stuck in a hole and can’t get out. Meanwhile, self-help gurus and entitled entrepreneurs give you a list of steps to follow that aren’t relatable to everyone. Not to mention, many people will say not to lower your expenses and to simply make more money instead—if only life were that convenient. Some people have mental illnesses and others have kids and families—the point being, everyone’s situation is different and universal advice doesn’t always work.
Not everyone can start their own business and see overnight success. Not everyone can walk into their boss’ office and demand a raise, promotion, and fancy new title (and receive it). If you’re struggling financially, here are three realistic steps to turn things around.
Create a plan that actually tackles your finances.
If you want to turn your finances around, then you have to figure out where all your money is going. Figure out every single bill, including subscription services, groceries, and entertainment. Creating a budget and sticking to it is universal advice, sure, but it’s an appropriate step if you include all of your expenses.
Tackling your debt will eventually lead to you having more money. You’re not going to become debt-free overnight. Create a plan, even if it’s 24-plus months, and do your best to stick to it. If you follow this plan and make the necessary sacrifices, although life has a funny way of happening, in 24 months (or whatever the duration of your plan is), you’ll be out of debt.
Saving money isn’t that simple when you’re living check to check and don’t have money to save, but you can look for other areas to get extra cash. For example, you can sell some of your belongings that have lost meaning or you don’t use (and are decreasing in value every year). If you own a home, then you can try switching home loans. One of the main concepts behind refinancing your home is to lower your interest rate and therefore lower your mortgage, which can give you extra cash each month.
Getting out of debt isn’t easy, but it’s all about making sacrifices. Figure out which sacrifices you can afford to make and take the leap.
Find a way to make more money while cutting down on spending.
Making more money isn’t feasible (or at least easy) for everyone. Some people already work 40-plus hours a week and taking on a second job could lead to more damage in terms of mental health or not being able to give two jobs enough energy and juice. Some people have other obligations. However, if you can feasibly take on a second job or a side hustle, then making this possible short-term sacrifice can help you get out of debt faster.
Cutting down on spending might be an easier option. This is something you have to get serious about. Be honest with yourself. What can you afford to temporarily live without? Five streaming services, probably. Taking care of your mental health is important. Humans aren’t machines and we can’t work nonstop, but cutting down on spending can happen almost immediately and make your financial issues a little easier to tackle.
Take care of your mental health.
Taking care of your mental health is essential during your journey to turning things around. After all, not having money and worrying about bills is stressful enough. In many ways, overworking can lead to more harm. However, coming up with a realistic plan is the proper way to take action and can give you peace of mind.
If times get really tough and your debt spirals out of control, then you might deal with debt collectors which can lead to sky-high stress levels. Luckily, debt collector harassment lawyers can help and you might be able to file for protection. If you’re being bombarded with debt collectors, then we encourage you to seek professional help to eliminate this issue.
Struggling financially is a common issue and it’s important to know you’re not alone. We hope the steps above can help you turn things around.