It’s really hard to make ends meet these days. Between the high unemployment rate and rising prices on everything, it’s easy to feel discouraged. It’s hard to quiet those fears when you know there isn’t any extra money for emergencies.
Unfortunately, there are no quick ways to solve our financial troubles. (If there was, I wouldn’t be writing this blog!) But there are ways you can fight back against the financial hurt.
Talk to a financial expert. If providing for a secure financial future is a main priority for you, talking to a professional financial advisor can help you figure out how to get out of debt, manage your money and save for the future. Be sure to find a reputable person to help – not someone who is interested in you for your ability to pay them a commission.
Get the family involved. As parents, we often want to shield our kids from things that are difficult or painful for us. But sometimes the best lessons come from being honest about your situation. Have a family meeting and share your fears and your hopes. You may be surprised to find that your children are willing to jump in and help. You need every family member on your team in order to reach your goals.
Create a budget. No one wants to do it but it can save you a lot of headache later on. Being aware of where you money goes each month gives you power over it. It no longer rules you but you tell it what to do. Start with the biggest bills first: mortgage, car payment, insurance and utilities. Then add in the next biggest money drain: the grocery bill. Look for ways you can cut costs and put that money toward your debt.
Reduce temptations. Don’t surf any internet shopping sites. Don’t window shop and put any mail-order catalogs directly into the recycle bin when they arrive in the mailbox. Nothing makes you feel more broke than browsing for things you can’t afford. Instead, head to the library and grab a new book to read or movie to watch.
Appreciate what you do have. When you’re broke, it is so easy to spend your time thinking about all the stuff you don’t have. Try thinking about all the blessings around you. When I’m feeling especially low, I like to make a list of 5 things I’m grateful for. It reminds me that there are good things in my life and that they are worth fighting for.
Let go of mistakes. We all make mistakes. All you can do is accept that you made the mistake, learn from it, and move on. Dwelling on your mistake will not make the results go away. A new attitude and a little elbow grease can.
Create small rewards. Digging out of debt and working to save money is no picnic. Celebrating your successes with small rewards can really help energize your family’s efforts. Rewards could be something as simple as a movie night at home or a dinner out.
Your turn: How do you fight off feelings of financial despair?