If you have ever been through financial stress at some point in your life it can be a daunting and stressful period. Unemployment, illness and debt can lead to money worries and at the time it can seem overwhelming.
Here a few tips which might help:
Set a budget
Take some time to write out income and expenses. Make sure to include how much is being spent on rent or mortgage, bills, car payments, petrol and groceries and any other regular expenses that occur. This will give you a clear view of how much will be left.
By keeping an eye on what is being spent, you may find some unnecessary expenditures that can be cut out. Is that gym membership or pay TV, really necessary at this point in time? You can always ask to put your account temporarily on hold until finances improve.
Next to rent and bills, groceries can take a chunk out of your income. Menu planning can save a lot of money as you only buy what you need. First, take a look in the pantry and fridge. Do you already have some ingredients there that could be made into a meal? If so start there with building your meal plan. If you have a bag of pasta and a tin of tomatoes, you could make an Italian dish. Buying cheaper cuts of meat or even having a few vegetarian meals can also lower the grocery budget. Soups can also be a cheap and filling meal.
Frittata and salad is a cheap and healthy meal
There are lots of ways to cut back on energy use around the home and this can help save hundreds of dollars. Check the Money Off site for more tips.
Ask For a Bill Extension
If there is a bill that just can't be paid, don't be afraid to ring up the company to ask for an extension. Electric, gas, water and phone companies are usually happy to put a payment plan in place. It is better for them to receive even a small amount of money over a long period than nothing at all.
When saving money every little bit counts
Make Do and Mend
This is something households practiced during the World War 2 era and can still be applied today. If clothing has holes, try mending it rather than buying new. If a household item breaks try repairing it rather than buying a new one.
A few years ago my microwave blew up. At the time a new one could not be justified in the household budget, so I made do without one. Instead of reheating meals in the microwave I use the stove top or oven. Even though my finances have now improved, I have chosen not to buy a new microwave as I see it as an unnecessary expense.
Hang in there, things will get better. This is only a temporary setback. Take some time out to enjoy the simple things in life. Enjoy a walk and try to reflect on the positives.