You’ve got money troubles, and you’re embarrassed about it. Whether you’re embarrassed about not being able to pay the bills or ashamed of not being able to support your family, revealing your financial situation can be difficult. But sharing your situation with others can make you feel more comfortable and understandable.
Avoiding talking about money troubles
If you are having problems with your finances, it may be easier to avoid talking about them than you think. You may feel embarrassed to tell others that you cannot afford to pay your bills or support your family. But it is important to remember that discussing money troubles with others will build resilience and give you a better sense of control over your situation.
Fortunately, there are ways to make the conversation less painful. First, try to set clear expectations. If possible, call a family meeting and plan out the subject. You can also prepare a first-line statement that will make the conversation less abrupt and uncomfortable. In addition, avoid getting angry or upset when talking about money.
Keeping a budget
Keeping a budget is essential if you’re facing money troubles. It helps you determine where your money is going and where you can make some cuts. If you’re paying too much for gas or eating out frequently, you need to look for ways to cut back. It also helps you avoid paying overdraft fees.
When preparing a budget, you should identify what your fixed and variable expenses are. These expenses include things like your monthly rent or mortgage, utilities, car payments, and regular monthly bills. You can then categorize your expenses and set limits for how much you can spend each month. The more detailed your budget is, the more likely you are to stick to it and spend less than you have.
Identifying financial stressors
Financial stress affects everyone differently, but it can manifest itself in several ways. For some, it causes physical symptoms while for others, it causes mental health problems, and private lives can be affected. Identifying your financial stressors can help you work through them and get your finances under control. One common sign of financial stress is difficulty sleeping. A preoccupied mind isn’t likely to switch off by bedtime, and a lack of sleep can worsen your anxiety.
Research has shown that financial stress affects families in different ways. Interestingly, women report higher financial stress than men, and heterosexual couples report higher financial stress than their partners. One explanation for this is that women are often responsible for household finances during economic hardship.
If you are struggling with money troubles, you are likely looking for ways to cut back on your spending. You might be planning a college education, a new house, a car, or retirement, but you have too much debt and not enough income. Or, you may want to build an emergency fund or save money for holiday gifts. Whatever the reason, cutting back on your spending can be a great way to free up cash for other things.
To reduce your monthly spending, start by eliminating unnecessary expenses. For example, do not participate in paid entertainment unless you have someone else paying for it. Ask for discounts on big ticket items. Try asking department store managers for special deals. You can also cancel your cable TV or satellite radio subscriptions to save money. You can also cut back on entertainment by watching Netflix or reading a book instead.