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3 ways to manage financial stress

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Financial hardship can often arise without warning, catching us unprepared or under-resourced to find a way forward. The good news is, there are some logical steps you can take to controlling your finance concerns.  

Continue to make repayments—the smart way  

When money is the cause of your stress, start by auditing yourself. Tally up all your debts so you have an itemised list of what is owed. From here, you can determine which are the largest or most pressing; that is, those attracting the most interest.  
 
The important thing is to not place yourself in a position of layering debts, however tempting it may be to borrow more money to repay that which is owed. Play with what you own. You may choose to pay off your smallest debt first for a sense of accomplishment, or clear your largest—whatever your approach, ensure you are making the minimum repayments each. When each debt is wiped, immediately shut down the account. 

Set up an emergency account  

Having a ‘rainy day’ account that you can’t access daily is another wise move. Often this will be the kind of account you forget about on a regular day. Aim to populate this account with $1000 minimum, and kick off by saving $100 per week. If you find this is easy, set up regular direct debits so the savings are planned and you are held accountable.  

Refer to your robust and realistic budget  

This list isn’t complete without encouraging the importance of a budget. Without one, financial troubles can seem far more overwhelming and costs are difficult to account for. Head here [link to budget article] for all our tips on creating a well-rounded budget.  

Seek financial advice  

There are a range of professional services available to steer you to safety at times financial crisis. A financial planner will be able to assist you in designing long-term budgeting and investing strategies that factor in your retirement.  See our website for more information on financial planning advice by Bridges Investment Services.
 
For urgent advice, the National Debt Helpline is a free service operating Monday to Friday, 9:30am—4:30pm. They can be reached on 1800 007 007.  
 
Likewise, If you’re experiencing debt that attracts legal complications, community legal centres and Legal Aid agencies both offer legal advice, free of charge.