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5 Tips to Overcome a Financial Crisis

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5 Tips to Overcome a Financial Crisis

The fear of being hit with a miserable incident that could change your financial condition, like losing your job, impoverishment, or a sudden medical emergency, can be a nightmare for anyone. Such miserable events require you to make major changes in your life and the revitalization period is incredibly stressful. Often, it is the result of a lot of trifling constant worries building up to one huge breaking point, and then all of a sudden everything rushes through, constructing a tidal wave of anxiety and fear and stress.

However, your financial crisis can be remedied by regaining your self-control and taking solid actions. The financial benefits of dealing with financial crisis—saving more, paying down debt—will improve not just your self confidence, but your overall mood as well. The less you worry about dealing with finances issues, the more you can enjoy life. You may consider your circumstances as unique, but many people around the world have walked this path before you. The road to financial revival is shabby but the steps to return after the financial disaster are well-proven.

So let’s get started with some useful tips that will help you to get motivated to take control of your finances:

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1.  Identify the Problems

The first step to overcoming financial crisis is to identify the primary problem that is causing difficulties. Financial problems are generally an indication of a larger issue and to come up with long run solutions, you have to identify the actual cause of your financial troubles. The idea behind the importance of uncovering a specific problem is to come up with a permanent solution. Just like a leaky tap in your house; placing a bucket below it is a temporary solution. Fix the tap and the leak will stop permanently. Rather than dwelling on your stress, focus on resolving the problem that’s causing your financial problems.

2. Create a Budget

One of the best ways to deal with financial problems is creating a budget plan. A budget is a weekly, monthly or a yearly spending plan for your money that guides your spending decisions on important stuff for you. As you create your budget, it’s important to track your expenses for at least a couple of weeks (a month is best) to objectively see where and how much you are spending.

Once you are able to get realistic numbers from your budget, you can review your budget critically and seek out areas where you can save. Things like spending less on eating outside, spending less on entertainment or hobbies, taking lunch from home to work rather buying it are things that don’t make you miserly or restrict your budget. They just allow you to go after bigger things with less stress, like paying off your mortgage.

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3. Set Financial Priorities

Determining your financial priorities is essential to overcome any financial crisis. These priorities help you to make tough financial decisions such as paying off your credit card bill, paying your mortgage or saving up for house repairs for your family; setting priorities will help you solve your money troubles and get back on track. Your financial priorities should include looking into new ways to have money coming in too, like a second job, downsizing your home, or even using assets you have like a mortgage to leverage financial flexibility for yourself.

4. Address the Problem

For most people, financial problems can be addressed by reducing expenses and increasing income, or a little combination of both, but it might be not be the ideal option for everyone. For humans, changing lifestyle is the most difficult task, but given the money crisis situation, we are forced to make changes.

So to deal with it, take small steps to accomplish your goals because big changes are always much harder. For instance; if you’re running $50 short every month, then perhaps you should first pay off a small credit card debt that requires a $50 minimum payment each month. By taking small steps get the card paid off, and then permanently have $50 extra to use in your budget every month or use it for the payment of another debt, and get all of your debts paid off more quickly.

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This methodology is called the “snowball effect”; putting all extra money towards one debt to pay it off faster and then use the extra amount towards eliminating the next debt. It is very useful method for paying debts off faster.

5. Develop a Plan and Track Progress

Once you have ideas to tackle your financial difficulties, come up with a realistic plan to accomplish your financial goals with a timeline of weeks, months or years and track your progress continuously. For example, if your goal is to pay off a $2,000 debt, make a plan and create a timeline with the amount of money you will pay every month so that you can pay it off within your desired time frame. Once you are on the road to achieve it, take a few minutes to review the progress. Evaluate and assess your plan, see if you are making progress toward your goals and be open to the possibility of fine-tuning the plan.

Unforeseen financial challenges are like uninvited guests and can strike at the most unfortunate times. For example, recent findings show that 6 in 10 Canadians will face some major life events that will change their prior financial plans. The key to overcome these financial challenges is to be flexible. Make and review your budget and make necessary changes.

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Featured photo credit: Mitya Ku via flickr.com

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Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 5, 2022

33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

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33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

In a difficult economy, most of us are looking for ways to put more money in our pockets, but we don’t want to feel like misers. We don’t want to drastically alter our lifestyles either. We want it fast and we want it easy. Small savings can add up and big savings can feel like winning the lottery, just without all of the taxes.

Some easy ways to save money:

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  1. Online rebate sites. Many online sites offer cash back rebates and online coupons as well. MrRebates and Ebates are two I like, but there are many others.
  2. Sign up for customer rewards. Many of your favorite stores offer customer rewards on products you already buy. Take advantage.
  3. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. The extra cost up front is worth the energy savings later on.
  4. Turn off power strips and electronic devices when not in use.
  5. Buy a programmable thermostat. Set it to lower the heat or raise the AC when you’re not home.
  6. Make coffee at home. Those lattes and caramel macchiatos add up to quite a bit of dough over the year.
  7. Switch banks. Shop around for better interest rates, lower fees and better customer perks. Don’t forget to look for free online banking and ease of depositing and withdrawing money.
  8. Clip coupons: Saving a couple dollars here and there can start to add up. As long as you’re going to buy the products anyway, why not save money?
  9. Pack your lunch. Bring your lunch to work with you a few days a week, rather than buy it.
  10. Eat at home. We’re busier than ever, but cooking meals at home is healthier and much cheaper than take-out or going out. Plus, with all of the freezer and pre-made options, it’s almost as fast as drive-thru.
  11. Have leftovers night. Save your leftovers from a few meals and have a “leftover dinner.” It’s a free meal!
  12. Buy store brands: Many generic or store brands are actually just as good as name brands and considerably cheaper.
  13. Ditch bottled water. Drink tap water if it’s good quality, buy a filter if it’s not. Get 
      a reusable water bottle and refill it.
    • Avoid vending machines: The items are usually over-priced.
    • Take in a matinee. Afternoon movie showings are cheaper than evening times.
    • Re-examine your cable bill. Cancel extra cable or satellite channels you don’t watch. Watch the “on demand” movie purchases too.
    • Use online bill pay. Most banks offer free online bill paying. Save on stamps and checks, and avoid late fees by automating bill payment.
    • Buy frequently used items in bulk. You get a lower per item price and eliminate extra trips to the store later on.
    • Fully utilize the library. Borrowing books is much cheaper than buying them, but in addition to books, most local libraries now lend movies and games.
    • Cancel magazine/newspaper subscriptions: Re-evaluate your subscriptions. Cancel those you don’t read and consider reading some of the other publications online.
    • Get rid of your land-line. Do you really need a land-line anymore if everyone in the family has a cell phone? Alternatively, look into using VOIP or getting a cheaper plan.
    • Better fuel efficiency. Check the air pressure in your tires, keep up with proper auto maintenance, and slow down. Driving even 5MPH slower will result in better fuel mileage.
    • Increase your deductibles. Increasing the insurance deductibles on your homeowners and auto insurance policies lowers premiums significantly. Just make sure you choose a deductible that you can afford should an emergency happen.
    • Choose lunch over dinner. If you do want to dine out occasionally, go at lunchtime rather than dinnertime. Lunch prices are usually cheaper.
    • Buy used:  Whether it’s something small like a vintage dress or a video game or something big like a car or furniture, consider buying it used. You can often get “nearly new” for a fraction of the cost.
    • Stick to the list. Make a list before you go shopping and don’t buy anything that’s not on the list unless it’s a once in a lifetime, killer deal.
    • Tame the impulse. Use a self-enforced waiting period whenever you’re tempted to make an unplanned purchase. Wait for a week and see if you still want the item.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask to have fees waived, ask for a discount, ask for a lower interest rate on your credit card.
    • Repair rather than replace. You can find directions on how to fix almost anything on the internet. Do your homework, and then bring out your inner handyman.
    • Trade with your neighbors. Borrow tools or equipment that you use infrequently and swap things like babysitting with your neighbors.
    • Swap online. Use sites like PaperBack Swap to trade books, music, and movies with others online. Also, look for local community sites like Freecycle where people give away items they no longer need.
    • Cut back on the meat. Try eating a one or two meatless meals every week or cut back on the meat portions. Meat is usually the most expensive part of the meal.
    • Comparison shop: Get in the habit of checking prices before you buy. See if you can get a better price at another store or look online.

    Remember that saving money is not about being cheap or stingy; it’s about putting money into your bank account rather than giving it to someone else. There are many ways to save money, some you’ve never thought of, and some that won’t appeal or apply to you. Just pick a few of the ideas that sound doable and watch the savings add up. Save big, save small, but save wherever you can.

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    Featured photo credit: Damir Spanic via unsplash.com

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