Creating Healthier Money Habits During Trying Times
By Rachel Shouse
Money can be a real problem for some individuals and families. Money problems are the second cause of divorce with infidelity being the first. Regardless of whether you're married or not, going through financial hardships is exactly that, hard. Addressing the problem, learning how to control your money, and getting professional help are all steps to a healthier financial life.
Addressing the Problem
There are a multitude of reasons why people go through financial hardships. Some lose their jobs while some may be injured and can't work. The sky really is the limit. During a financial crisis you can really only do your best. Handle what you can when you can.
Normally when an individual or family is going through financial difficulties they tend to let the unnecessary bills go or do the bare minimum. In extreme cases they may need to reach out to different organizations to receive help just to keep the lights on.
The best way to organize your bills and money is by your own priorities. While there may be some variables between your needs and someone else's, you should do your best to pay your mortgage or rent, utilities, car insurance, health insurance, groceries, so on. There may be little to no wiggle room. You're not the first person to go through this and you won't be the last.
Learning How to Control Your Money
Money can tend to control you when you should be controlling it. You earn it and yet it tells you what you can and can't do. This is the case for those who live paycheck to paycheck. Some may even go into debt to keep up with their current lifestyle. Which is extremely counterproductive. But, it happens and there's a difficult but rather simple solution.
Create a budget and stick to it. There's really no point in having a budget if you're not going to follow it. The best way to budget is by using the zero-based budget. That means that when you complete your budget the end balance should be zero. There's a reason for this, people tend to just throw away extra money. When that becomes a habit they'll notice that there's less and less money and may even take on debt in order to keep up with their habit. Self control is the key, but it can be really hard.
Getting Professional Help
There's a large variety of financial experts available. A lot of organizations even offer free classes and advice if you're willing to accept the help. If your needs are beyond that, reach out to a professional and get the help you need. Also, reach out to a counselor. Whether it's for you, your marriage, your kids, or your whole family.
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