In an ideal world, you would achieve everything you set your mind to. You would follow the perfect career path, make a fortune, and live out your days in a Beverly Hills mansion with a private swimming pool. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work out exactly the way you have planned. Everyone experiences bumps along the road, and whereas for some these can be small setbacks, for others they can appear mountainous. There are many reasons why you might start struggling financially, particularly in the current climate. In the last few months, the business world has been hammered with restrictions and uncertainty, with many companies struggling to cope. As a result, there have been redundancies, and entire businesses have found themselves unable to survive.
Perhaps you have lost your job. Maybe you have had some previously sound investments turn sour. You might even have been growing your own start-up business that has been unable to survive, plunging you into debt. Perhaps you have simply made bad financial decisions, that have only been compounded by the global crisis. Financial struggles are experienced by millions of people, for a host of different reasons. However, there is no need to despair. Rather than panic, it’s important to address your problems head-on. If you act calmly, reasonably, and sensibly, there are always paths to navigate through financial trouble, allowing you to get back onto a level footing. If you follow this advice, you’ll be able to look back one day (maybe from that Beverly Hills mansion) and feel proud of how you overcame the crisis and moved forward into the future.
Tighten Your Belt
It might seem like obvious advice, but the most important thing you can do if you’re struggling financially is to limit your spending. At first, this might be hard. After all, you have developed habits that you enjoy and brands that you prefer, and changing these habits is easier said than done. However, you’ll be surprised at how much you can save by calling an end to a few personal extravagances, helping you take a huge pressure off yourself. Try doing your grocery shop at a store one step down in the price chain. Own-brand goods can be far cheaper than branded options. You’ll be surprised how much the little things can add up to, taking a healthy chunk out of your grocery bill. It might be even harder, but it will also help to cut down on those treats you allow yourself – like meals out twice a week, takeaways and cinema tickets. Remember, it’s not forever, just until you get back on your feet.
Keep a Tight Rein on Your Bank
Sometimes it’s easy to lose track of just how much you have in your bank account. You think you’re doing fine and then, wham, a subscription you’d forgotten about rolls around, and suddenly you’re in trouble. This is a great time to really get a reign on those transactions. Don’t be afraid of looking at your bank balance. Instead, examine it and make a list of all the subscriptions and regular transactions that occur, as well as their regularity and dates. You will probably find at least one or two subscriptions you don’t need any more (and come one, do you really need access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu and all your TV channels). This is a great way to cut down expenditure, and also start to get a grip on exactly how much you are spending and when. There’s no better way to feel in control of your finances.
Seek Work, and Don’t Be Fussy
In the current climate, finding a job can be hard. If you have just lost your employment, you will probably be looking for new work opportunities, and it’s important to spread your net as wide as possible. Use job hunting sites, use your social media, and join as many recruitment firms as you can as a potential candidate. Having said this, depending on your area of expertise, it might be nigh-on impossible to find a position exactly similar to the one you left. In cases like these, it’s important not to be fussy. Your career is vital, yes, but so is putting food on the table. If you can find work in your chosen area, great, but if not then it’s important to accept the possibility of working in another industry for a year or two. Fussiness could be your financial downfall, so make sure to take any opportunity available, even if it isn’t the perfect one.
Maintain Your Health
When you’re struggling financially, it can be incredibly stressful. In turn, stress can have a great effect on your mental and physical health. It can lead to depression, weight gain, and even more serious health problems as your body shoulders the strain of your worries. This means that it becomes even more important to take care of your health as much as possible. Ill health could end up costing you even more in hospital bills, particularly if you’ve lost insurance alongside your employment, as well as preventing you from finding future work. Your gym membership is one thing you shouldn’t cancel, and make sure to keep eating fruit, vegetables and wholesome foods (even if a pot noodle is cheaper). There are areas to skimp on, and areas to invest in, and your health is definitely in the latter category.
Don’t Be Afraid of Bankruptcy
The idea of bankruptcy can feel very stigmatized – it is seen as something bad, or an admission of failure. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Bankruptcy is a tool you can use to help yourself through financial difficulty. It is a way to discharge debts and protect yourself against consequences including, but not limited to, repossession, legal action, and foreclosure. Declaring bankruptcy is a legal process, and there are many different types, or Chapters, to choose from, depending on your circumstances. Chapter 7 is one of the simplest and most useful for many, and you can contact Leinart Law Firm about Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you wish to find out more. Most people will be eligible as long as you have many bills that you keep receiving notices for, no way to pay them, and you do not own much property. Don’t be afraid of bankruptcy – think of it as a power you can exercise to cope with financial difficulty.
Consolidate Your Debts
If you haven’t got as far down the line as bankruptcy, it can still be very useful to consolidate your debts into a single payment. This is particularly useful if you are in a position where you have several debts that all come out of your bank account in different amounts, at different times, making it incredibly hard to keep track of each debt. Consolidation simplifies this chaos into a single, larger payment (which still might be smaller than each debt added together). You will find it much easier to manage your finances if you know you only have to pay one amount each month, and you will feel less overwhelmed with multiple bills. If the consolidated amount is particularly large, it can also make it easier in the long run for this debt to be eventually written off.
Ask For Advice
If you are struggling financially, it can feel like something you want to deal with alone. We all have our pride, and you might feel like you want to see this through yourself. However, this mindset is only making things harder for yourself. Truly confident, powerful people know when to seek advice on important issues, particularly in areas where they are not experts. This is how many successful businesses are run, and it is also how you should treat any financial problems. Financial advisors and wealth management companies might seem to cater to the other end of the spectrum, but many also offer advice services to those individuals who have fallen into financial difficulty. By making use of these services, you will be gaining knowledge and tips to help yourself make it through.
Reach Out to Family
Again, it’s important that you don’t attempt to suffer alone. Asking family for financial aid may not be possible – and once again, pride can be a factor – but your friends and family can still provide vital emotional support. It can be the simple things; your family are less likely to demand you join them for dinner at a fancy restaurant if they know you’re going through a tough time financially. This can take a huge amount of stress away if you don’t need to worry about ‘keeping up a front’ and therefore spending money you don’t have. Family and friends can be a great source of mental support, and this will be vital as you move along the road to recovery.
Find Support Schemes
Finally, it’s worth researching to see if there are any support schemes operating that you might benefit from. Often, charities operate with relatively specific remits regarding people they can help who have fallen into financial difficulty. If you are a veteran, or if you are struggling to cope with hospital bills for a specific ailment, it could be that you will find a support scheme that can help pay any debts, or even just offer free advice. It’s important to make use of any resource available to you. By doing this, and taking control of your finances, you will be well equipped to begin your journey back to stability and profit.