If you have financial problems to solve, the advice here can help you. It’s important to point out that your money worries are valid, even if they don’t seem “that bad.” The sooner you act, the better, but also remember that it’s never too late. Here’s what you can do to feel in control of your finances again.
1. Address why you’re having money struggles
Start by determining why you’re having financial problems in the first place. Are certain behaviors causing issues?
Is it the fact that you can’t stop impulse spending, for example? A gambling addiction? Or, did you get laid off and now are finding it hard to make ends meet?
When you identify why you’re having trouble, you can work to address the underlying cause. This process takes self-introspection and can be difficult, depending on what is at the root of the problem.
The process can be uncomfortable as you delve deep into the cause. It might not seem “that deep” to some, but you’d be surprised at how the human mind works.
2. Open up to somebody you trust
Opening up to a trustworthy person can help lift a weight off your shoulders. Simply talking about the situation to someone who listens can be a freeing experience.
When you make progress while starting to solve the financial problems, update this individual with your progress. Also, ask them to keep you accountable for meeting personal and family goals by making healthier decisions about money.
Accountability can be the hardest part of changing behaviors. So, make sure you figure out if this is something that could help you keep the focus on the goal of regaining control money-wise.
Whoever you open up to, make sure you are confident in their understanding and non-judgmental nature. The last thing you need is to feel shame for behavior that you are desperate to change. Unfortunately, shame can keep you stuck in negative patterns and cycles.
3. Identify what needs attention first
Prioritizing is a must if you’re going to overcome these struggles. While you don’t want to ignore the little things, figuring out what needs urgent attention and what can wait is important.
For example, reducing any existing debts and paying bills on time will likely take priority over saving for retirement. That is especially true if you aren’t even close to being senior age.
Maybe you need to figure out what to do about your student loan debt. Whatever it is, try to come up with a list of priorities to address, sooner rather than later.
Trying to focus on everything at once is unlikely to be helpful. That approach could well stress you out more than you are already.
4. To fix financial problems, change your mindset
Your mindset can have a huge impact on what you are able to achieve and how quickly you do so. Staying positive throughout the journey and working on changing your attitude towards money will help you both now and in the future.
First, acknowledge that your current mindset may not be entirely your fault. You are a product of your environment. You may have picked up a number of financial beliefs from your parents and other people.
If your parents were constantly scrimping and saving and telling you that money didn’t grow on trees, it’s likely you internalized this mentality. It may have informed many of the financial decisions you have made over the years, whether you realized it or not.
Don’t feel bad if this connection isn’t one that occurred to you before. What’s important is that you’re aware of it now.
Once you understand the mindset and how it formed, you can take control and work on changing it. Changing your mindset isn’t going to be easy, but it definitely is possible.
Much of what you believe formed in early childhood. Many beliefs are on a subconscious level, which is why digging deep will help to bring them to light.
To change how you view and handle money, you need to change those deeply ingrained beliefs. There are options here, such as:
- Use positive affirmations regularly
- Visit a cognitive-behavioral therapist or try a different alternative therapy
- Find people with a positive attitude who you can listen to/watch and mirror
- Practice gratitude
- Forgive yourself for past mistakes
- Find ways to affirm and prove that you can manage money, and that you are worthy of it
- Work on your self-esteem and self-image
- Unpick and heal trauma
This work will likely be uncomfortable. But, if you stay self-aware and determined, you can completely turn your mindset around.
5. Solving financial problems involves being realistic
You are only human, and there will only be so much you can do at once. Therefore, focusing on one thing at a time is advisable.
Figure out how you can help your situation from a realistic standpoint. The options include cutting back on expenses, switching utility suppliers for lower rates, and canceling unused memberships.
Just make sure it’s something you can stick to over a long time. If you put every bit of spare cash towards your credit cards, for example, you won’t have anything to spare.
This approach could keep you stuck in an unhealthy pattern of feeling deprived. Instead, allow yourself a treat occasionally. Just make sure you put a limit on the spending money that fits within your budget.
6. Break everything down into baby steps
If this all seems like a huge task to you, it’s understandable. Plus, any discussions about money tend to be stressful.
To help things feel more manageable, split every step down into smaller baby steps. If something can break down even further, do it.
This method is useful to see that what you want to achieve is doable. You can take these small steps regularly, knowing that you are moving towards set goals.
7. Develop a longer plan to solve the financial problems
To reach the goals of overcoming money issues, you have to decide on them first. Then, put a long term plan in place to ensure you are going to reach those goals.
For example, if you have no money to retire and it’s coming up in a few years, you’ll feel pressure to save for it. If that is your financial problem, you’ll have to determine what a comfortable lifestyle looks like after leaving the job world behind.
If you plan to take trips, then saving for those adventures will have to be part of your strategy. Carefully consider how much money you will need, and what that means for you and your finances in the present moment.
You can change your plan if needed, of course. But, the main thing is to create the plan as it can help to give you clarity.
Finally, learn more about personal finance
Aim to continue learning about personal finance to empower yourself and regain control. Read one book a month, or even every few months.
Find someone to follow on YouTube or Instagram who offers useful money tips. Check out articles online with advice relating to your situation too.
Why? The more you surround yourself with positivity and learning opportunities, the easier your journey is likely to be.