Financial worries plague Americans throughout the country, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Don’t worry, though. While things may seem grim, we’ve made a list of the top tips for overcoming financial stress. From strategically reducing debts to cutting out nonessential spending, you can get your plans back on track.
Cut the Nonessentials
Your number one goal in times of financial uncertainty is to prioritize essential bills. You need to address mortgage payments, health insurance, and credit card bills long before a monthly subscription to a streaming service.
Go over your expenses with a fine-toothed comb and eliminate anything you can live without. This could free hundreds of dollars a month that you can use to pay off important bills.
Create a Money Tracker
Slashing your nonessentials is a great start, but you won’t know how much you’re saving unless you track it. Use a spreadsheet program like Excel or Google Sheets and write out all your expenses and your income. This will give you a better sense of how to break down your finances, as well as what money you have leftover to save.
Reduce Debts Strategically
Creating a plan is your best bet to stop a bad situation from getting worse. While credit card debt is never good, you can help by strategically reducing your debts. Make sure you make the minimum payment on each credit card, then pick a strategy and stick to it.
Either pay off the smallest debt first and work your way up or consider paying off the card with the highest interest rate and work your way down.
Save When You Can
Putting extra money into a savings account or retirement plan won’t always be possible, but it’s essential to save whenever you can. You’d be surprised how much a hundred dollars here or there adds up, and you’ll thank yourself when you start considering retirement. If you’re self-employed or a freelancer, you should consider a SEP IRA—this is the perfect option for retirement planning!
Now that you know these top tips for overcoming financial stress, get your bills under control and take a breath of fresh air.