Worried about your finances? You’re in good company. Plenty of people stress about how to make their finances work. Even more people worry that they’re never going to make their finances work. Instead of panicking, however, you really need to make sure that you’re looking at the bigger picture. Many financial situations seem dire, but there are solutions out there for everyone. Sometimes those solutions are painful, or they cost a little bit of money. For example, if you’re really underwater, if you’re really having trouble, if you are really at the end of your rope you might be better off actually filing for bankruptcy. Of course, this is a big step. If you’re a UK resident, you are going to have to prove that you are truly insolvent in order for this to go through. You’ll need to disclose a lot of information. Keep in mind that the disclosure will affect you as bankruptcies are public.
But if you’re truly at the end of your rope and you feel that you have no other alternatives, then this makes sense. But are you really as bad as you think you are? You need to seriously look at your budget and understand what’s going out each and every month. If you find that youíre going to be okay, then you need to believe in that and then act accordingly. Donít just let uncertainty run your life.
You need to look at hard numbers to determine what your next steps should be. If you are already using credit, you will need to make sure that you avoid using it in the future. Getting strict on credit might be hard for some households that have been relying on it big time. If youíre used to playing for your childrenís birthdays with credit card funds, you need to get out of that. The truth is that getting out of a bad situation sometimes calls for extreme frugality. If that’s something thatís going to be difficult for you, then you might have problems over time. But in the end, it will be so worth it if you really can buckle down to get the financial life that you deserve.
Can you work with a local group that focuses on better finances? Sometimes building a group that can help you make better decisions is better than trying to go on your own. You have to be willing to experience some short term pain in order to get where you want to go next.
There’s nothing wrong with realizing that you need to make changes, but please don’t think that everything is going to get better in a year’s time. It might take several years for things to get back to normal. What’s more important than the journey to better finances is what you do once you arrive at your goal. Do you see the extra money in your savings account and then decide that you need to make up for being “deprived”? That type of behavior is going to land you right back where you left off — lacking money and resources to take care of your life.
Don’t let it go there. Break out of that zone and look at all of the positives!