Money problems can have even the most level-headed individuals tied up in knots when plans don't fall into place. Maybe you've just moved into a new house, or your income has changed, or perhaps your old way of doing things just simply isn't working anymore. No matter the reasoning, worrying about your cash flow is never a pleasant experience.
Here are four ways to give yourself some peace of mind with a little shuffling of finances and some forward planning:
Now, this first step is obviously easier said than done, but it certainly can be achieved. The easiest way to do this is to consolidate your various debts into one low interest loan. Low-interest loans are great for taking advantage of savings and more favorable terms, but if this isn't possible in your situation, you can still make progress. We suggest rolling as much as possible into one payment and then paying off the rest of what you owe in order from lowest upwards. While this may seem counterintuitive, you'll save on interest and other fees by operating in this way, leaving more available cash to pay off higher debts in a better time frame.
Pay in installments
Consider putting your regular expenses such as rent and utilities on weekly or bi-weekly payment plans, even if you don't necessarily need to. This will help you balance things more evenly as you'll be spending smaller amounts each payday rather than having to put money aside for a lump sum at the end of your bill cycle. Obviously, this will generally be done based on average usage in most cases so you'll still need to have a buffer when the bill is due to make sure you can cover it, but you'll find it far easier to pull a little extra money rather than the whole bill.
Set a budget, and stick to it
This tip is thrown around in almost every money advice article ever, but it's still worth mentioning since it works. The budget may be considered a dirty word in many households, but if you work it out correctly to start off with, then you'll see the benefits stack up quite quickly. Make sure you're allocating some funds for saving and spending once your basic necessities are covered so you feel less restricted, and therefore more likely to stay on track, while still squirreling away a nest egg.
Slush funds are your friend
Speaking of nest eggs, even if you've still got debts, you should be actively working towards building one. At this point, focus on building up an emergency fund, and once you've wiped your debts, consider creating separate savings accounts for things that would need to be covered if anything happened. From there you'll be able to move across to creating general slush funds, saving for things that you want which will make the process far more enjoyable since you know there's a reward coming at the end.
Although they are one of the more complicated aspects of life, your finances don't need to be a major stressor. Managing current debt while saving for the future and putting away a little fun money are great ways to take the stress out of personal money management. Implement these tips, watch your account balances grow and remember that it will all be worth it when you can relax without stressing about whether everything is going to fall into place.