It’s a difficult time for people around the world at the moment. The coronavirus pandemic has caused economic shockwaves that are being felt just about everywhere. During such times, managing your money can be particularly difficult. If you already have debt, it can seem like an uphill struggle just to stay afloat. However, admitting ‘I have money problems’ is often the first step in fixing things. To help you out, we’ve got details of some quick and long-term fixes you can try. 

The effects of financial stress 

Having money problems can impact your everyday life, as well as your physical and mental wellbeing. The stress that comes with worrying about your finances can bring a whole host of negative impacts, including: 

  • Anxiety 
  • Physical and emotional exhaustion 
  • Burnout at home or work 
  • Depression and associated disorders 
  • A weakened immune system 

Clearly, these are a whole raft of problems that you could do without. What’s more, long-term problems such as heart disease, insomnia, and high blood pressure are all associated with prolonged stress. So, ‘I have money problems’ soon becomes a much more serious issue. 

Who does it affect? 

Issues with money can affect just about everyone. We are living through a time where things can change rapidly, leaving the unprepared in some trouble. 

For younger generations, a second ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ crisis means that it’s tougher than ever to make financial headway. What’s more, student loan debt is eye-wateringly high, meaning many will never pay off what they owe. 

Older generations don’t have it easy, either. Retirement pots have suffered greatly, meaning many don’t have as much saved as they need. This can mean many years of financial woe ahead. Clearly, money problems can impact people at all stages of life. 

I have money problems – what can I do? 

It can seem like a totally hopeless situation to be in sometimes. If you don’t have money, it’s easy to get into debt. And once you’re in debt, it can incredibly hard to get out of it. What’s more, many people live payday to payday, often meaning they’re one crisis away from financial disaster. 

Of course, all this sounds very dramatic. Although having money problems is serious and stressful, there are solutions you can turn to. As well as a variety of tried and tested methods to get out of debt, there are also places you can turn to for help, advice, and support. 

Quick fixes 

Let’s start by looking at some quick fixes that can help your immediate financial situation. Many of these are things that you can make a start on right away, even if some of them take a bit longer to come to fruition: 

Cancel subscriptions 

These days, just about every service seems like it’s based on a subscription model. Although many of these are relatively cheap, the combined costs can soon add up. What’s more, a lot of subscription services overlap. So, instead of having three streaming services, you might want to consider cutting to just one (or none at all). 

Go through your bank statements and add up how much your subscriptions cost you each month. You might find that you can cut back on quite a few. Many people even find that they have small monthly payments for services they don’t use any more. Remember, every little bit you save can help. 

Transfer your balance 

One of the things that really catches people off guard when it comes to debt is interest payments. Although you might pay you minimum credit card balance each month, all this does is repay your interest. So, even though it feels like you’re paying money back, the initial amount often remains. 

If you can, look for a balance transfer card. This gives you the opportunity to move a credit card or loan balance onto a new card that has low (sometimes 0%) interest. Now, when you make your monthly repayments, you’re paying off your debt rather than just the interest. 

Check your debt options 

There are many different debt options available. Many of these help you pay off what you owe and make things more manageable. Some are more extreme than others, and the ones you’re eligible for depend on your individual circumstances. 

By exploring the options available to you, you can start to make longer-term plans. Often, they give you breathing space to get back on your feet and moving in the right direction. 

Long-term fixes 

Of course, getting out of debt is usually a long-term project. Unless you have a dramatic change in circumstances, things don’t change overnight. However, with the right planning and gradual persistence, you can soon solve your money problems:

Set a budget

Budgeting is a simple concept, but one that few people spend the time getting to grips with. You should spend some time working out your income and outgoings each month. From here, you can identify how much you have leftover. This gives you a chance to maximise your debt repayments, helping you clear your debts as fast as possible. 

Pay off high interest first

We’ve already mentioned how hard it can be paying interest on debt. As such, you should focus your attention on clearing the debt with the highest interest rate first. This will make the process of repaying everything a lot quicker and is a more efficient way of spending your money. 

Cancel cards

Once you’ve cleared a store or credit card debt, you should then cancel that card. Although having one credit card is useful for emergencies and building your credit rating, having multiple can be a disaster. Cancelling them means that you don’t have the temptation to buy things you can’t afford. 

I have money problems – where can I get help? 

If you’re in financial difficulty and aren’t sure where to turn, try not to worry. There are several services out there that can give independent and impartial advice for free: 

Citizens Advice money and debt help

About the author

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a financial services expert, with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, including 6 years in FCA regulated companies. Read more
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