If you are struggling financially, you are not alone and your financial situation CAN get better. Here are 15 tips from people who are never broke to improve your finances and lower your money stress.
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Tired of Struggling Financially?
Nobody sets out to be broke. Some loans here, bad investments over there and many credit card swipes later on, you get yourself stuck and you have no idea how you landed in that particular state.
Nowadays, there is a rise in the number of millionaires and billionaires. There is also an increase in the number of people becoming bankrupt and broke. We are all looking to make our ends meet from every way possible.
These are tough times around the world – make sure you check out how to spend less money in a tough economy
You don’t necessarily need to be living out of your car to be broke but living paycheck to paycheck without intact savings is also a form of struggling financially. Living paycheck to paycheck is so common that our society currently calls this type of living as normal.
If you are tired of struggling financially, it is worth taking the time to give your finances some attention and TLC.
Turn the tide with these tips and avoid going broke.
If you were never taught the basics of money and finances (that is a LOT of us), check out how to improve financial literacy in 7 simple steps.
Also check out robo-advisors vs financial advisors – which is better for investing your money?
How To Turn Things Around If You’re Struggling Financially
You can try budgeting for a month and see if that works for you. Decide the amount of money you need to spend in a month and then dedicate/ divide a part of that amount for transportation, food, shelter, and the basic necessities.
After setting your budget, try sticking to it. If this is your first time, do not be too hard on yourself but at the same time keep a log of everything you purchase that may be out of your budget.
We created an easy-to-use Budget Binder to help you get your finances organized. It will help you get off the money struggle bus and feel peace about your financial situation. This budget binder will help you set financial goals, pay off debt, and plan for the future.
If you are an electronic budgeter, not a paper budgeter, no worries. Our Budget Binder will improve your financial situation, but only if you use it. Ultimately, it is SO important that you start tracking your money in some way.
You can also use budgeting apps such as Personal Capital to help you stay on track. Budgeting your income is by far one of the best ways to never go broke and to get yourself into a better place if you’re struggling financially.
Also check out these 15 best personal finance books you need to read – they are life-changing!!
2. Start Saving
It may seem impossible if you are struggling financially, but planning for the future will greatly help you jump out from the broke world. You can start with small amounts like $25 per month into an emergency fund. If you need ideas, here are 10 creative ways to save money on a tight budget.
Once you have built up an emergency fund, you can start saving for retirement but it always starts with something small. Remember, every single penny counts and it is okay if your savings amount differs monthly. Just start putting something aside for a better future.
3. Don’t Buy Impulsively
It’s always easier for you to manage your finances if you have a ready plan of what you need to buy. If you can’t limit your purchases at the mall, try recalling your budgeting method. Every necessary thing is already given a space in your plan and stepping out from that list may burn your pocket.
Create a small list of the stuff you need to go shopping to know what you exactly want to buy. Self-control plays a key role here and it will definitely be difficult in the beginning, but don’t forget your end goal.
4. End Your Financial Struggles By Buying Only What You Can Afford
We are living in an era where glitter is given so much importance than actual gold. Be it the real-life or social media, sometimes we go out of our way to impress some people or look like we’re ahead of the pack.
Sometimes we spend our paychecks in stores to please people who never really matter in our lives.
Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.”
– Will Rogers
(For more money quotes, here are 100 of the all-time best money quotes that will change the way you think about money.)
If something is not affordable, look for some alternatives and pause for a while. Evaluate whether it’s truly needed or you just want it because of some peer or societal pressure.
Also remember other people are never going to come to pay your debts so be wise and avoid going broke by buying something only when it is most needed.
5. Diversify Your Income Sources
Ever heard of a millionaire or billionaire with a single source of income? For many people these days, your salary might not be enough to support you. Lookup for possible side jobs like freelancing, food delivery services, and dog walking or even working overtime at your workplace.
This can be hard but it can make a huge difference if you are struggling financially. Sometimes financial struggles result not from spending problems, but low income. There is only so much you can cut out of your budget. Beyond that it might be worthwhile to look at increasing your income. Here are 8 unique ways to make an extra $1000.
It may also be the time to screw up your courage to ask your boss for a pay rise. Yes some businesses are doing terribly right now and you might not want to try for a raise with those companies. But other businesses are thriving. If it feels like an appropriate time to ask for a raise at your place of work, go for it.
6. Struggling Financially? Trim Your Expenses
A step to fix a struggling financial situation that takes minimal effort is to make it automatic so you don’t have to think about it. No remembering to move money around to a savings account, no extra effort to call and negotiate a better price on your phone bill or credit card rate.
Trim is an app that automates your savings by finding money-saving opportunities for you. Trim has saved its users over $1,000,000 in the past month alone!
The Trim app negotiates with banks, credit card issuers, and other lenders, to reduce fees and interest so that you automatically save money. Try Trim here (it’s free).
7. Automate Savings To An Emergency Fund
If you are really struggling financially, it can be so hard to start an emergency fund. But an emergency fund is no less important for you. You can start with where you are, even saving less than a dollar at a time.
There is an interesting app called Acorns that make saving extra money passive, so it will automatically happen for you, without any effort on your part. And it does this by using very small amounts of money.
Acorns automatically invests your spare change by rounding up from your purchases and investing that money for you. It makes investing both simple and cheap.
This money can be used towards an emergency fund, money to withdraw to pay down debt, or other things. Try out Acorns here.
8. Minimize Lending To Others and Avoid Payday Loans
Although you might want to help your beloved friends or family members who may be in dire problems, it’s not advisable to lend money to others when you’re unable to even pay for your bills.
Payday loans always seem to be a good deal when you are strapped for cash but their rates are high and in the long run, they will get you deeper into debt. Avoid payday loans at all costs.
9. Sell Things You No Longer Need
You have the potential of turning two or three things in your possession that you don’t need any more into cash through selling them to people who can make use of them.
Try yard sales if you have a lot of unwanted kind of stuff, run to eBay in case you own valuable items or consignment shops for those clothes you don’t wear. You can help your financial struggles and make money quickly by selling the things that are of no use to you.
Here is how I made an extra $500 in a week by selling things (and I’ll show you the best places to sell your stuff for the most money!)
10. Prefer Second Hand
You can save much from your furnishings to your next car by buying slightly used items. These items such as clothes, electronics, and furniture are sold at a fraction of the new items price. And once you buy them, you’ll notice that these products are definitely in good condition and worth the money savings.
Thrift shops will leave you with some money in your pocket due to their good deals.
11. Save Money on Energy
You can go green in your house and save some good amount of money every month on your utility bills.
Look for the energy-efficient home appliances, ensure lights are off when you’re not around, reduce cooling and heating bills by sealing up air gaps, and turn down a few degrees of your heat during winter which will bring about a huge difference in your bills.
12. If You’re Struggling Financially, Drastically Cut Spending on Restaurants and Entertainment
Entertainment, whether dining or going to amusement parks, will mercilessly devour your budget. Find inexpensive ways to have fun.
Cook at home, invite your friends over for a meal instead of going out to eat with them, stay in touch with free shows and concerts, attend high school games instead of professional games for sporting experiences, and finally, you can look for online deals with discounts when you purchase the tickets.
13. Assess Your Daily and Weekly Spending Practices
When you know what you spend your money on, cut out the expensive habits.
Some habits that will lead you to spend money daily like smoking, buying bottled water or coffee, buying take-out, playing the lottery regularly, etc need to be omitted from your routine.
14. Live On Less Than You Earn
Sit down and analyze how much you earn and how much you spend every month. You’ll realize that there’s much that slips through your hands when you decide to make a monthly zero-based budget.
Direct that money into proper streams and keep the extra saved money tucked away for some urgent need.
15. Play Nice With Credit Cards
Stop using credit cards if you have a hard time sticking to your budget and tracking your expenses. You can switch to paying in cash which will help you see the amount of money you’re spending on a particular purchase.
If you can control your purchases with a credit card, get one that has no annual fees and ensure your bills are paid on time.
Moving Past Struggling Financially is Possible
I know this sudden change could be daunting at first and could also feel really uncomfortable.
If you even follow a few tips from above when you are struggling financially, you will be able to start saving your hard-earned money, pay down more debt, and get into a better place financially.
You can also read 7 Financial Lessons You Should Have Been Taught (But Probably Weren’t)
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