Finances can be a struggle for many different reasons. Maybe there has been a job loss or someone has become unable to work. Maybe there are financial changes caused by the car breaking down or other major necessities breaking unexpectantly. Or maybe you have future life plans that you are striving to reach.
No matter what the reason, financial issues can cause additional stress in our lives and with our families. However, there is hope for decreasing financial stress!
Check out the resources below to help combat financial stress.
The following is an easy-to-read checklist to make it simple for you to try all of the options below to decrease your financial stress!
1-Pay off Debt
- Pay more than the minimum on your credit card balance
- Don’t add additional debt unless there is no other option (ex. do without the extra TV channels)
- Sell things you no longer need or want and use that money to pay on debt
- Give up one meal out per months and put what money you would have spent on that meal towards debt
BONUS: Once credit debt is paid off, pay your credit card bill off with every paycheck. This allows you to keep your balance low, not get fees, and it’s a good reminder to only put what you need on the card because you have to pay it with every paycheck.
2-Save Money (even if it’s only a little)
- Have a portion of your pay check (even a small portion) to go directly into your savings account.
- Open a new savings account at a separate bank and don’t get a debit card for that account to make it more challening to withdrawal money.
- Start or add to your child’s 529 (you are saving for their future and you get up to $1000 back on taxes each year).
BONUS: Invest a portion of your money, even if it’s only a little. Hopefully, this is better than just saving your money. It should allow your money to grow a little (or a lot) more than having your money in a regular savings account.
3-Cut Back on Unnecessary Expenses
- Eat out at restaurants less.
- Don’t go to the grocery store when you are hungry.
- Order your groceries for pick-up so you aren’t tempted to purchase extra items.
- Pack your lunch to work rather than go out to eat.
- Drive less/Carpool and/or have your kids ride the school bus.
- Multi-task with errands (ex. make one trip out of the house to do all errands and plan your trip to use do the least driving)
- Get rid of services you aren’t using (gym membership, premium movie channels, gaming subscriptions, other subscription services….)
BONUS: Drink more water and less soda and/or coffee. (This is good for your wallet and your waistline)!
4-Use Money-Saving/Earning apps
Here are my two favorites! I’ve made hundreds of dollars off Ibotta through the years and just under one hundred on Inbox Dollars. Both of these apps let you earn cash for items you are already purchasing or planning to purchase!
5-Look Into Government Resources
Depending on your income level, you may be able to qualify for government assistance
- Food Stamps
- Childcare Assistance
- Electric Assistance
- Child Support Enforcement
6-Additional money-saving resources
There are great resources to save money for things you are already using or plan to be using!
- Discounted Amazon Prime
- Free 30-day trial of Adventure Academy (academic help for older kids)
- Free 30-day trial of ABC Mouse (academic help for younger kids)
- Purchase gift cards for products you use at a discounted rate (save 5-10% or more if you purchase gift cards at Sam’s or at Target using your Red Card)
- Pay bills with a credit card that allows you to earn cash back or other bonuses (pay off credit cards every time you get paid to avoid fees and interest)
Use a combination of everything listed above to have the most success!
I hope you will take advantage of these money-saving strategies to help improve your finances before the end of the year! Every little change you make puts you one step closer to your financial goals!