Financial troubles can cause tremendous stress. They can also lead to significant strains on relationships, particularly between spouses. If you are facing money problems this year, you can get help through qualified counseling.
Issues with finances can sometimes happen due to unforeseen circumstances. For example, you may have medical bills, home repairs, or car problems that you never expected. These issues can strain your budget and put you into debt.Other financial issues arise due to a lack of planning. You may have never been taught how to save money and create a monthly budget. It’s also possible that you use shopping as a coping mechanism for other problems. You can learn different habits to overcome these issues.
Another major factor is a difference in money personalities between spouses. Each of us has a unique perspective on how to spend, save, invest and give. When you and your spouse don’t understand one another’s perspectives, a big financial problem may develop.
Fortunately, financial issues can be handled well with professional help. A financial advisor can help you with the practical side of the problems. A caring Christian counselor can help you sort out the emotional and relational symptoms that are related to the money problem. With professional assistance, you can overcome financial issues and learn how to move forward in a better direction.
One of the biggest financial problems is debt. The majority of Americans are burdened by an enormous amount of debt that keeps them from living the lives God intended for them. By getting out of debt, you will find the peace and freedom you are seeking.
To start living without debt, you need to begin saving a portion of your check every time you get paid. This is easy to set up if you have online banking. You can have an automatic transfer into a savings account where the money stays safe.
Even a small amount in your savings every week, like $5 or $10, can help you avoid financial disasters. You can vow not to touch the money unless an emergency occurs, such as a leaky dishwasher, engine repairs on your car, or medical bills for a broken arm.
When you are in debt, your debt can feel like a mountain that can never be climbed. However, knowledge is power. Gather all the information you have about your current debts. List them on paper or on a digital document. Start paying down the smallest debts every month while continuing to pay the minimum payments on the other accounts. As you pay off the smallest debts, keep paying more on your other debts. With this approach, you can conquer your debts in as little as a few months, depending on the size of your current debt.
Paying off debts is easier and faster with the right approaches to shopping. You’ll need to make some sacrifices to get out of debt faster. With an intentional plan, you can make small sacrifices now to have a debt-free life in the near future.
Watch the sales.
By spending 15 to 30 minutes every week watching the sale ads for groceries, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars every month. Buy only what is on sale and build your meal plans around the sale items. Create a list before you head out and stick to it. As you make this a habit, you’ll have fun being creative with the sale items while you are saving money.
Cook from scratch.Dollar for dollar, restaurant food costs much more than food from scratch. Prepackaged food also costs more per ounce than raw foods. Basic meals made from scratch, like soups, loaded baked potatoes, spaghetti, tacos and more, are often healthier for you than take-out. If you cook double or triple batches of a single recipe and freeze the rest, you can maximize your kitchen efforts and pinch your pennies too.
Shop at multiple stores.
Groceries and home goods aren’t the same price everywhere you shop. Retailers are counting on you coming in for the sale items and then buying extras at full price. However, with a plan in place, you can save the most money by shopping the sales at more than one store.
Check out consignment stores.
If you have little children, consignment shopping can be a lifesaver for your clothing budget. Children grow so quickly and tend to wear out their clothing faster. Why spend more on their outfits when you can find high quality second-hand clothing and accessories, either in stores or online? There are also lots of great options for adult consignment items, including purses, books, housewares. You can find many great deals on items that are like new.
Stream your shows.
Cable and satellite television programming are expensive. You can still watch the shows you like online or through cheap subscription services. You can cut your cable bill by close to 90 percent by switching to streaming, and then put that money toward your debt.
Save money on entertainment.
There are many free entertainment options in our area. You can visit concerts and other events without paying a dime. Also, get creative with your entertainment options at home. Kids love the quality time of playing a board game, putting a puzzle together, taking a hike, and making s’mores in a fire pit. You can also search for free or low-cost date night ideas.
Limit eating out.It’s easy to enjoy the convenience of having someone else cook for you or make your drinks. But eating out or picking up morning beverages puts a huge dent in your budget.
Start with baby steps. If you treat yourself to a coffee every morning, you’ll be money ahead by brewing your own cup at home. Then move to brown-bagging your lunch two to three times per week. Pack snacks and water bottles in your vehicle so you aren’t tempted to visit the drive-through restaurants. These habits can be healthier for you while saving you up to hundreds each month.
Cut out subscriptions for a season.
A membership at the local gym can set you back significantly every year. Work out at home and put the money toward your debts for a while, and you’ll be proud of yourself. You can always rejoin later when your debt is paid off. The same goes for magazine subscriptions. Cut them out and enjoy the free versions at your local library. While you’re there, check out the movies you can watch for free in your own home.
Consider a side job.
To really make headway in paying down debt, you can earn extra income through a side job that you apply fully to your outstanding balances.
There have never been more opportunities for making money online with courses, digital products, and second-hand sales. You could also temp as a pet sitter, food delivery driver, or house cleaner on the weekends. The additional income you’ll generate in just one year of sacrifice can help you overcome debt in a much shorter period.
Convert to cash.
Many people cannot control their impulses when using credit cards. If this is you, withdraw a certain amount of cash each week to use for the expenses that trip you up most. For example, if you always overspend on your Target run, limit yourself to $50 in cash, and you’ll find it easier to leave the unnecessary items out of your cart.
Hold a yard sale.
You can make major money by selling your gently used items in a yard sale. Involve the entire family in decluttering your home, cleaning the items, and pricing them for sale. At the end of the sale, donate the unsold items, and use the money to pay off your debt. You’ll have a cleaner home, too!
Overcome Financial Stress
Is the stress from financial issues affecting your physical, emotional, mental or spiritual health? Contact us at Tacoma Christian Counseling for assistance. We are ready to help you overcome the root causes of your financial problems so you can have a more peaceful future.
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