There aren’t many things that are more stressful than realizing your finances are out of control. It can be overwhelming, defeating, and even depressing when you no longer have a grasp of where your money is going, who you owe it to, or why you don’t seem to have anything left at the end of the month. However, an empty bank account doesn’t need to feel like the end of the world! We’ve listed five simple steps that will help you to turn things around and really get your finances back on track.
- Calculate Your Expenses and Cut Down. It’s easy to lose track of your spending and income, so take some time to go through your statements and see where your money has been going, how much has been coming in, and the areas that you can cut down on. Spending too much on takeout? Meal prep at the beginning of the week so you won’t be tempted to order. Found a subscription you haven’t used in months? Cancel it. Even the smallest changes can make a big difference to your monthly income.
- Pay Off Debt and Set Payment Plans Up. If you have debts, you need to start paying them off before collectors get sent to you. You might not have enough to do so right away, but that’s generally okay. Call the people you owe money to, explain your circumstances, and set up a payment plan you can afford – even for credit cards. These people want their money back, but they don’t want to ruin your life, so get in touch and work out a solution with them.
- Try Second Chance Banking. What is second chance banking? Well, it’s an excellent service offered by a number of banks that lets you open a traditional bank account without a credit check. It’s a way of offering you the security you need, without worrying about being denied the opportunity, which also makes it a great way to start building up that score. It’s worth looking around for a bank that has this kind of service.
- Start Saving, Even a Little. Even if you can only put $10 a month into your savings account, it’s better than nothing. The act of saving is more about habit than anything else. If you start now, you will do it automatically when you are back on your feet and have more of a disposable income. Plus, you never know when that extra $10 will come in handy.
- Build Your Credit Score Back Up. Your credit score is your key to bigger and better things in the world, even though you may wish it wasn’t. What you need to do is start building it back up again, and that can be through paying off debt, getting a credit building bank account, or even a credit card with a tiny limit that has been designed for credit building. There are loads of options out there, and you just need to take tiny steps to achieve a perfect score.
These solutions might appear to be very simple, but it can be difficult to apply them to yourself when you’re drowning in financial stress. Plus, implementing them takes work and dedication – which we know everyone has! Even a very small payment plan with creditors will help your score and your debt, and taking the time to talk to people about what’s happening leads to solutions instead of problems. We hope this little guide has helped you, and that it continues to do so as you turn things around. Happy saving!