Chances are, we all hit a rough patch from one time to another. It doesn’t seem to matter what else is going on, there are times an unexpected layoff happens, a financial setback or personal emergency totally throws us off kilter. Other times, it can be a dark and gloomy period when we realize it’s going to take longer than we anticipated to pay off a debt, or we simply aren’t making as much as we need to in order to scrape by.
Yes, there are tough times, and the way out of a rainy day can seem long a long and lonely road- but luckily we aren’t alone in our struggles! This week, we’ve asked personal finance bloggers who have been there to share their best advice for anyone going through a tough financial time. Read on and keep calm and carry on!
Take Any Action. Even Small Steps Build Momentum.
“Often that’s the last thing you’ll feel like doing when experiencing financial issues, but doing what you CAN do will help. Specifically, track your spending (daily at first), create a specific & reasonable plan to get to where you want to be, reach out to folks who have been there before, and then move forward.”
– Jackie of TheDebtMyth.com
Don’t Be Ashamed, Use Your Connections.
“When I was laid off from my very first job out of college, I resisted the urge to cower in embarrassment. Instead, I emailed every contact I had to let them know. And that decision resulted in several job interviews within a few weeks. People want to be helpful, but they can’t offer assistance if they don’t know you need it.”
– Kate of CashvilleSkyline.com
Clear Your Mental Clutter, & Then Set Positive Affirmations.
“Do a brain dump every few weeks. Getting all the mental clutter out on paper so you can see it really helps me organize my thoughts and feel more in control. A second tip I have is changing my password to my online accounts to a positive affirmation like “Iamsmart2014″. It may seem silly, but having to type out a positive affirmation several times a day about myself, really does help improve my self confidence. I change it every few months to reflect my current goals and keep my passwords current and safe.”
– Sofia of SofiaDurrani.com
Write Down Every Dollar You Spend.
“My wife and I were amazed to see how much money we were wasting on eating out, coffee, and buying gifts, but once we became aware, we found ways to cut these down, which freed up money for us to be able to pay off over $40,000 of credit debt in the last 5 years!”
– Chris Huntley of InsuranceBlogByChris.com
Work Out Your Anxiety With Exercise
“Exercise every day. It’s the absolute best sedative against anxiety and it’s the only one with healthy side effects. It costs nothing, you’ll feel better about yourself, and you’ll be more productive every day.”
– Todd of FinancialMentor.com
Set Mini-Goals For Yourself As A Pacesetter For The Bigger Goals.
“It’s great if you set a goal for yourself to eliminate $10,000 worth of credit card debt as one quick example, but exactly how are you going to get there? More importantly, each time you shave $5000 off of that expense, you should be rewarding yourself.”
– Andrew of MoneyCrashers.com
Don’t Get Stuck In A Rut At Home Because You’re Broke.
“While it might seem that you are stranded at home because your income is much more limited, you can use this time to catch up on reading or try a new hobby that’s still on budget. There are awesome things to do if you look around and do some Googling. Go for long bike rides (used bikes can be found on Craigslist for $25 or less).”
-Elizabeth of ReluctantLandlord.net
Celebrate Along The Way.
“When I was digging out of debt, I was overwhelmed looking at the number $10,000. It helped when I broke that goal down into smaller chunks. I would celebrate when I paid off $1,000 and then another $1,000. It really helped me to stay motivated towards paying off my debt.”
– Jon at MoneySmartGuides.com
Visualize What You Hate To Get What You Love & Stay Motivated.
“For someone paying off debt, my advice to stay motivated would be to think of the one thing you hate most about having debt or are most excited for once your debt is paid off. Perhaps you have a crappy car you hate or can’t afford a vacation until your debt is paid off. Imagining getting a new car or taking that dream vacation to Spain can be a powerful motivator to stay on track.”
Jeffrey Trull of https://studentloanhero.com/
Don’t Go It Alone, Now Is The Time To Call In Favors & Lean On People.
“When financial times are hard, it’s important that you take some time to create a team that will help you as you to get back on your feet. Identify who will: support you emotionally or provide information and resources to you. You may be surprised by who helps or doesn’t during hard times.”
– Michelle of ShopMyClosetProject.com