Denial is one of the biggest factors associated with financial stress. If you’re living in financial denial, you’re not doing yourself any favors. “It’s not easy to get ahead of financial stress, but admitting you have financial problems is the first step in taking back control of your money, your life, and your future,” is the advice given by finance expert Allison Maxim.
Know Your Money
You must know your money if you’re going to take control of it. You must know how much you bring in, how much you put out, and you must know where every single penny is going from your morning coffee fix to your mortgage payment. Can you account for every dollar that comes in and goes out of your home?
It’s time to start making a budget once you figure out where your money comes from and where it goes. Make the budget, look it over, and get to know it. You should know it intimately, and don’t leave anything off this list at all.
Make Your Money Work for You
Your money needs to work for you, which is why it’s time for you to get to know it better than ever. Now that you have a budget, it’s time for you to make it work for you. Where are you spending too much? Where do you have room to get rid of some of your expenses? Even if you’re convinced your budget works well for you, it’s time to start calling your creditors, your billing companies, and your service companies to ask them for discounts, lower rates, and better deals. You need to do this to make your finances work for you.
Talk About Your Money
It’s better to spend less than you make, and that’s how you should live your life. Talk about your money in your household. Let your spouse in on the budget, talk about where it’s going, and make decisions together. It’s your job to figure out where your money is going, why it’s going to specific places, and how you can make it work more appropriately for you and your household.
Don’t buy anything without discussing it first. Don’t let a day go by you don’t look at your checkbook. Don’t let a financial conversation pass without first discussing it with your spouse. It is the most important thing you can do each day to relieve financial stress from your life.
Pay Yourself First
One of the biggest mistakes consumers make is not paying themselves first. You are not the last priority in your life. In fact, you are your own most important life investment. Paying yourself is a way of saving. Make yourself a priority and pay you first. Once you’ve paid yourself, pay your bills. Once you’ve paid the bills, that’s what’s left over to use for things outside of your regular expenses. It’s the only way to ensure you live life with financial freedom. You never save what’s left over. You save and then use what’s left over.
Start Small and Work Your Way Up
You can’t remove the financial stress in your life in one day, but you can start small. Make a list of the things you worry about the most regarding your money, and then prioritize that list. Now you have a list to go by, and you can start figuring out how to get rid of the financial stress you feel one moment at a time. By eliminating one small worry at a time, you can gain better control of your life and take back your finances.
Stress is a personal choice you make each day, and it’s time to stop making it a choice. You can get control of your financial life, but it does mean making difficult decisions, uncomfortable changes, and getting comfortable with living life a bit differently. It’s scary at first, but it’s possible you can take control of what’s yours and make it work for you.