It’s been a while. I’d like to believe you all went through the first blog post I wrote in 2018 and you’ve properly made your financial plans for the year.
Are you sticking to it? If you’ve not, its not to late. Get started!
Remember, “Save more, spend less”!
That is still our #1 resolution for 2018.
The first quarter of the year is gone and it might have been filled with so much financial stress for many of us. I can totally relate to that.
Too many expenses, not enough money. Too much debt, school fees, rent, family and the list can go on and on.
Let’s do something about it! We will not let the stress and worry catch up with us.
- Do you find yourself worrying about your expenses/finances everyday?
- Do you develop a headache at the slightest thought of money – or the lack of it?
- Do you get angry when you think about how the economy is affecting you financially?
- Do you lack a financial plan?
- Are you addicted to what eats your money up?
- Are your expenses greater than your income?
- Are you in a lot of debt?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are probably undergoing financial stress and it’s time to fix that.
Identify Your Stress Points
Understanding the root cause of your financial stress is the first step to overcoming financial difficulties. To do this, you have to be very practical and honest with yourself.
You need to calmly think through the main financial issues you are facing and write down your biggest financial sources of stress. By doing this, you will clearly see the causes of the stress and you can begin to brainstorm ideas for resolution. Or better still, you can talk to a trusted person or an expert about it.
Create a Budget
Many people think a budget adds to financial stress, but it’s the opposite. A budget is the best tool you can use to gain control over your finances and stop worrying about money. Budgeting is not always so easy, but it helps you find a way around your expenses and you get to spend money in a responsible, and expected way.
You have to be very realistic when creating a budget. You need a deep understanding of what your expenses really are. Most people may think they know exactly where their money is going, but on deeper reflection, they are surprised to know that their spending doesn’t always match up with what they thought their priorities were.
Write down your budget for the remaining days in this month and look for areas to cut down on cost (entertainment, hobbies, lunch etc).
It’s never to late to start.
Make more money
Financial stress may mean it’s time to change jobs (and earn higher), or that you need to find additional legal ways to bring in more money. There are many ways you can work from home and make more money.
You can engage in freelance jobs (Upwork.com, Fiverr.com or Prepclass.com.ng etc.), turn your hobbies/passion to money, and so much more, for extra income. This not only increases your income, it also improves your skill and helps you grow.
Get rid of your debt
Debt is one of the major reasons people have financial stress. Debt could be as a result of overspending or life throwing obstacles your way. If you are not careful, you can get in way over your head.
Taking steps to get out of debt can improve your financial stress. It is not easy, but if you can put together a plan to pay back and begin to religiously follow the steps you set out, you will find that your financial stress begins to reduce, or eventually, gets eliminated.
Seek professional help
Culturally, many people would rather keep quiet than seek help. I want you to understand that getting help from a professional or a trusted person is as important as all the other points above.
Asking for help does not make you weak.
It shows you are smart. If you needed surgery, you would not perform it on yourself. You would find a surgeon. The same is true with your finances. Try to consult a financial planner if you cannot seem to figure out your finances.
Professionals can guide us towards understanding and carrying out the following:
- Proper understanding of why we need to take control of our finances
- Creating an emergency fund – having this created is a step towards financial freedom. This funds should be locked away and should be used only in times of emergencies. I recommend Piggybank.ng as a platform to help you lock funds away till needed.
- Work out on how you can increase your income e.g additional jobs.
- Investments to engage in to enable us use the returns to pay off debt and live happy.
As I said earlier, it’s never so easy to push the stress away, but the guidelines above are a start.
Kindly share your experiences with financial stress and how you overcame it in the comment section below.
Have a great week, and until next time,