Financial strain may very well be the greatest cause of stress today, especially with the economy the way it is. Many people have lost their jobs, and just knowing this and trying to make ends meet can cause a lot of added stress to our already stressful lives. The good news is that there’s a way out!
You’ve Heard It Before – Make a Plan
If you are not on a budget, you really must get on one. I know the word budget seems like a bad word, and it does require effort and planning, but it really is the best way to relieve financial stress. Living on a budget puts you in control of your money, instead of having your money (or the lack of it) controlling you.
Today, it is easy to find classes or programs designed specifically to teach you how to budget. Simply do a search online using the terms “how to live on a budget” or “budgeting” and you’re sure to find several that will meet your needs and are easy to use.
One of the keys to sticking to a budget is to make sure it’s easy to implement. Ask your friends and relatives what budgeting plans or programs they use and do a little research before deciding on one for yourself. But whatever you do, choose something!
Get Good Food at Great Prices
Another area where you can save money is at the grocery store. By using online and paper coupons, as well as flipping through the weekly flyers, you can save hundreds of dollars every month! Again, this takes some planning, but it will help relieve a lot of financial strain.
Knowing how much you spend on eating out may be a shocker to you. Cut back on restaurant food and plan more meals at home. You’ll be surprised at how much money you’ll save and you may even lose a few pounds!
Review Your Automatic Payments
Cutting out automatic payments from your spending will also help you be in control of your money. Look at any programs or services that you’ve subscribed to that automatically takes money from your account. You may find some you never use that you can cut out. Or perhaps there are better deals to be had elsewhere, so do your research!
One of the best ways to reduce your expenses is by driving a used car. If you’re making a car payment, you’re throwing away money that could be better used elsewhere. If it’s possible, sell your car, pay it off, and buy a used car with the cash that you’re saving on monthly payments. You may have to give up a little pride, but reducing stress and financial strain is far more important than pride!
More Tips to Reducing Financial Strain in Your Life
Another way to overcome financial strain is to supplement your income. You can do this in a variety of ways. Some of them you may even find fun!
* De-clutter your home of “stuff” by sorting through and selling it on eBay, Craigslist, or Kijiji.
* Clean out your shed or garage and have a yard sale.
* Sell arts and crafts or jewelry on Etsy or eBay.
* Start an online business using skills you already have.
* If you’re a good at a particular subject, start tutoring or teaching music lessons.
* If you’re a golfer or skier, get a second job at a resort or golf club. This will not only bring in extra income, but they probably offer discounts to employees, saving you money while still being able to enjoy something you love.
* Get a second job that offers flexible hours. Use the extra income to pay down debt or start saving for your emergency fund.
Having a plan, sticking to a budget, and increasing your income are the best ways to overcome financial strain during these tough economic times. If you’re diligent and determined not to let today’s economy stress you out, you’re sure to succeed!