Coping with financial stress can reduce the stress you feel in many areas of your life. Financial stress affects the whole family and the sooner it is dealt with, the sooner it can be managed. Denying financial strain can and will only make the problem bigger.
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If you are feeling financial stress then take these steps to help ease the pressure.
1. Identify the financial stress early and take action immediately. Don’t think it will go away on it’s own, it simply wont! Redo or do a budget that sets out your costs honestly and clearly. You must know where you are financially if you are to get out of trouble.
2. Discuss the problem with the entire family if they are old enough to understand. This will alleviate a lot of stress for each individual, knowing were the stress is coming from and that it is being dealt with is important. Forget materialism – focus on what is important now, you and your family.
3. Concentrate and prioritise your money on the necessities of life such as the paying the mortgage, electricity and food while cutting out or back on the non essentials. Be a family and cook with the kids, even if it’s a BBQ!
4. Get financial help if you are entitled to it. Look into refinancing, consolidating loans and reducing credit card expenditure. Talk to a loan broker, they are free and will help guide you to better financial options regarding your loans.
5. Stay healthy, limit the use of alcohol and keep a positive attitude. Go to doctors who bulk bill. Do things as a family – go for walks, picnics, days at the beach, playing at the park etc., things that don’t cost money.
6. Take control of your situation, talk to friends and family. Everyone has hard times and you might just get some terrific advice.
7. Can you earn some extra money? Can you have a garage sale? Sell unwanted items on EBay or in the local paper? Can you do babysitting, mechanical repairs etc?
8. Do something everyday to shrink your financial problems. Don’t buy coffee out, take your lunch, bake a cake for the weeks snacks, stretch meals with fillers and veges, search the Internet for money saving ideas etc. Take control.
9. Work out the expenses you will incur at Christmas, discuss with the family ways to ease the pressure of gift giving. Maybe not buy for the adults and just concentrate on the children this year? The family can all contribute to the meal instead.
10. Don’t buy anything you don’t need. Discriminate between what you want and what you need.
If your financial stress is causing you extreme anxiety or you feel like you just can’t cope or see the end to your troubles then discuss this with your doctor or a financial specialist. There are many people and organisations who can help you.
Find a Financial Counsellor (They are FREE)
These services in each State or Territory will be able to provide a financial counselling or credit advice service or refer you to the appropriate service. You can apply for your own credit report for free through here too!
If you are having financial difficulties with your business then FIDO can help. Financial counselling is a free and independent service offered by community organisations, community legal centres and some government agencies.
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