FINANCIAL STRESS // How To Free Yourself From Money Worries
It’s Never Too Late To Ask For Help
You know that feeling you get when you’ve lost control of your finances? You’re not sure where the money has gone, the bank account is pretty darn close to zero and the credit cards are maxed. You’ve got bills to pay but there isn’t any more cash coming in until payday.
And the anxiety starts to kick in. The gut churns, the headaches start, you start to feel a little fearful and then what happens? You stick your head in the sand or under the pillow and hope it will all work itself out.
We’ve all been there. A lot of us are there right now.
So what’s the answer? How do we live a life not stressed about money?
There’s nothing to be ashamed of
It’s quite common for people to get into a financial situation they’re not sure how to get out of.
“Life is busy and life is expensive. The cost of living is high in Australia and many people suddenly find themselves living hand to mouth or not being able to service a mortgage or loan. This causes feelings of shame and guilt, but really there is nothing to be embarrassed about,” Eric says.
“The worst thing you can do at this point is NOT ask for help. I often tell clients that it’s absolutely okay that things aren’t perfect. That it’s okay for them to be where they’re at and that they’ve done the right thing by getting proactive and seeking assistance.”
Prepare to invest some time into managing your money
It would be nice to wave a magic wand around and voila! All your money woes are gone. But sadly, life is not like that and you’ll need to commit some time to working out where it’s all gone wrong.
“Taking a bird’s eye view of your finances is really helpful at this point. Analyse your cash flow - what, when and where is the money being spent? And when do you have money coming in?” Eric says.
“Once you’ve done this, you can come up with some strategies to manage cash flow better. That might be something as simple as rearranging the dates of any direct debits you have set up.”
Get ready to get frugal
Frugal is such a funny word, don’t you think? But do you know what it actually means?
“Being frugal is simply spending below your means” Eric explains.
“It’s a commitment to saving, spending less and sticking to it.”
We love the story of billionaire IKEA founder, Ingvar Kamprad who drove an old Volvo, travelled economy class, got his clothes at flea markets and bought his own lunch box to work. Oh, and billionaire Warren Buffett still lives in the house he bought back in 1958.
“These guys didn’t care about social pressure to have the latest and greatest thing. They made their money work for them, through investments and saving,” Eric points out.
“And that’s the key. Do you work for your money? Or does your money work for you?”
If money is tight and you’re starting to feel anxious and worried about not only your financial future, but your financial ‘now’, the only thing to do is act on it.
“It’s important to take responsibility for your finances. It’s never too late to ask for help, but the sooner, the better” says Eric.
“When you get proactive about your finances, you can look at paying down debt, creating a savings plan and planning for the future. You’ll be surprised by how empowering getting a handle on your finances can be.”
“And it absolutely can happen. I tell people that I’m not in the money business, I’m in the happiness business! If you live frugally, be confident in money matters and take responsibility for your financial ‘now' and financial future, you will be happy.”
Life’s better when you’re happy, right?
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