*This is a collaborative post*
Money – the route of all evil right? If you’ve got plenty it’s all good, if things are tight then it can cause a whole lot of stress, worry and anxiety. Parenting is hard enough without the extra feeling of dread when another bill comes through the door. As a single mother the financial strain is solely on me, and also as someone who is self employed and running a new business I know the cash struggle. It’s tough, and once you’re in a difficult situation financially it’s tough to get out of it and easy to feel like it’s spiralling into something worse. Sometimes taking active steps to help the situation – even if they are baby steps, can help to make you feel more positive about the situation which is inevitably better for your mental health. Here are three things you can think about to try and reduce the money related stress.
Reduce Your Outgoings
This is actually often much easier than it sounds. Take a look at your current outgoings and see where you can cut them down. Call your current providers for things like energy and TV and ask them for a better deal. Use comparison websites to find cheaper options, swap wherever you can and turn off your appliances when not in use to keep your utility bills low. Start meal planning to help reduce your weekly shopping bill and consider opting for shop own brand items to save a few pennies. Here are 13 ways to cut your household bills.
By reducing what you’ve got going out you can reduce the stress you’re under to make your money stretch, and hopefully you might even be left with a few quid at the end of the month to save for an emergency.
Increase Your Income
Not quite as simple but still something you should consider when money is tight. Often it’s not possible to change your job or pick up more hours, but there are some simple things you can do to boost your incoming money a bit. Have a look around the house and see if there’s anything you don’t need any more – depending on what it is you could think about selling on Gumtree, Facebook marketplace or eBay. If you’ve got a lot of stuff you could even do a car boot!
Other ways to increase your income – use online survey websites which pay for a small free for your time. Use cashback websites when shopping for essentials to earn some extra ££. Here are a few more ways to make some extra cash fast. Use the extra money to sort out the bills you’ve been avoiding, and try to keep some aside to cover the next one too.
Get Professional Advice
If your financial situation is escalating and causing you a lot of stress then it may be time to start looking for some more support. You can get free and impartial advice from places like StepChange and the Money Advice Service, who can help you to consolidate your debt and work out a realistic payment plan with achievable monthly payments. Make sure you get good advice before considering combining your debt, especially if you’re considering taking out a secured consolidation loan. If you want to explore your options for debt solutions then companies like Creditfix can help with that.
Doing something like this might seem scary, and it’s not always appropriate but if your circumstances are causing you stress and affecting your mental health, or if you’re in a situation where your home or possessions are at risk then please do take action and get some free advice. Even talking it over and getting some help or reassurance from someone who’s an expert in this field will absolutely make you feel in more control.