These practical and emotional tips for dealing with money problems will help you cope with the stress of financial debt. Some of my suggestions are practical tips on how to deal with money problems; others are emotional ways to flow through this stage of your life.
In The 21-Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom, Michelle Singletary describes how to break bad spending habits, plot a course to become debt-free with the Debt Dash Plan, and avoid the temptation of overspending for college. You’ll also get a dose of advance planning so you don’t have to learn how to deal with money problems in the future, such as by preparing elderly relatives and yourself for future long-term care expenses and readying yourself for any contingency with a Life Happens Fund.
If you want to get started on one of the most practical tips on how to deal with money problems, read 30 Ways to Make Money on the Side. However, remember that earning more money may not solve the root issues of your financial problems. Making more money may not get rid of your money problems forever, especially if your problems are caused by deeper issues such as gambling, addictions, or impulse spending.
Tips for Dealing With Your Money Problems
If this blog post had a theme, it would be this: secrets lose their power when they’re exposed.
Swallow your pride and talk about your finances
If you’re keeping your financial debt or lack of money a secret, you will be eaten alive from the inside out. The only way to deal with money problems is to reach out for help. Stop lying, hiding, and pretending that your finances are in order. You don’t have to write a Facebook status update that says “I need help learning how to deal with money problems” – but you might be surprised at what a relief it is to talk about finances with people you trust.
The relief will come after the pain of asking for help dealing with money problems. It’s not easy to confess financial mistakes or mismanagement, and it may be shameful to admit you lost your job or have a gambling problem.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
One of the most important tips for dealing with financial problems is to talk about money with your spouse or loved ones.
It’s difficult to have the “money talk” – especially if you’re dealing with money and debt problems. Why? Because talking about money and spending habits requires honesty about your personal and financial habits, which is uncomfortable. If you want to learn how to deal with your money problems, you need to learn how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Start talking about your spending choices, retirement savings, credit card debt, mortgage loans, etc.
If you’re a woman looking for tips on dealing with money problems, read Are Women Bad With Money? 7 Money Mistakes Women Make.
Ask for His help dealing with your money problems
Me, I’d go straight to God. I’d start with gratitude and praise for the blessings in my life, and for the freedom I had to spend money the way I wanted (even though it was that freedom that brought money problems!). Give Him thanks for whatever is good, right, true, and praiseworthy in your life. Bow your head, humble yourself, and let His presence calm your mind, body, and soul.
Ask for wisdom to know how to deal with your money problems, faith to believe you can get your finances in order, and strength for the journey. Pray for peace that surpasses all understanding. Spend time in silence, asking God to help you sort through your financial situation.
Never underestimate the power of your relationship with God to lift you above the problems of this world.
Pay off your smallest debts first
One of the most popular tips for dealing with money problems is to pay off your biggest debts first. For instance, in 7 Smart Ways to Get Rid of Credit Card Debt Forever I encourage readers to deal with high-interest loans first.
But, according to a new study in the Journal of Marketing Research, paying off your smallest debts first can provide the motivation you need to successfully pay off even the most burdensome financial debts. “Winning what are known as ‘small victories’ by paying off small debts first can give consumers a real boost in eventually paying off all their debts,” write authors Alexander L. Brown and Joanna N. Lahey (both from Texas A&M University). “The reason is that meeting a small goal provides the motivation to then meet a larger goal.”
Play with different ways to solve money problems
This is the most interesting thing I’ve learned all week: the best way to solve problems is to play with them, like a cat plays with a ball of string. Look at your financial problems from all angles. Be curious. Be open to different ways to problem solve your money crisis. Don’t dismiss certain ideas as ridiculous or impossible until you’ve explored them a little.
Ask questions such as, “What if we sold the house to deal with our money problems, and moved to Kansas because it’s cheaper than living in New York City?” and “What if I declare financial bankruptcy and go on Social Assistance for a few months while I figure out what to do with my life?”
Humble yourself, and ask everyone you know how they deal with money problems. I guarantee you’ll learn a few surprising things about the people you thought you knew well…and you’ll see you’re not alone. Everyone has money problems at one time or another. The key is being open to learning how to deal with your money problems without feeling ashamed or afraid of asking for help.
Don’t lose hope when you’re dealing with money problems
You WILL find your way out of this financial mess. You WILL come through this stronger, smarter, and more courageous than you were before. You WILL survive! If you have God, you have what it takes to deal with anything life throws at you. Believe. Trust. Move forward in confidence, with faith and hope.
If you’re recently separated or divorced, read How to Manage Money After Divorce.
I welcome your thoughts on dealing with problems with money below. I can’t offer advice, but it may help you to share your experience. Remember that secrets lose their power when they’re exposed.
“If plan A fails, remember there are 25 more letters.” –Chris Guillebeau.