Financial freedom is not just being debt free. It also means freedom from worry.
And that will lead to a significant improvement in mental and physical health.
I believe that, in certain circumstances, any liability can cause serious emotional effects. If you look at any research on this topic, it shows us that financial constraints, whilst a burden, can be about much more than money.
Being in debt can result in some emotional and psychological issues. The thing about debts is that they affect people differently. There is no universal tolerance of debt. One person might suffer from anxiety over a small credit card debt, while another mightn’t even think twice about a debt until it runs into a figure in the thousands of Euros.
However, regardless of the type of debt or the amount, there are some psychological and emotional issues that can go along with financial constraints. Effects such as depression and anxiety, family resentment or denial, stress and regret.
Some might suffer frustration, shame or social embarrassment. There is a positive side, of course -the positive, emotional effects that you will feel once you’ve paid everything off and are debt free.
In this post I want to address the issue of money stress and then provide my thoughts on how you might ease the burden of any financial constraints you may have.
How to reduce your money stress.
In the first instance, it’s important to identify the real stress points. Recognise the basic cause – it’d be a good idea to write down these causes (limit them to three, if necessary). When identified, decide what you are going to do to tackle those issues. You must believe that you can do it.
When deciding a course of action, it is also important to be realistic. You don’t want to set overly ambitious financial goals that you may abandon in a few weeks or months.
Take small steps.
Make the most of your income by starting to save, even a tiny amount, every month. Also, leaning on your close relationships can help keep you on track. Every hard task becomes easier with the support of friends and family, so share your goals.
9 Ideas to Help You Overcome a Financial Burden
Reduce Your Expenditure
Analyse your expenditure to see if there are any areas where you could cut back. Making cutbacks in your normal or regular life like shopping around for cheaper utilities, reviewing house & car insurance or even shopping habits, can go a long way towards bridging any shortfall that exists.
Are You Claiming All the State Benefits/Local Grants You’re Entitled To?
Check if you are eligible and suitable for any social welfare benefits that you might be entitled to. There may also be grants available to assist with the cost of home improvements that would reduce say, heating costs.
Use Your Savings or Other Investments
If you have any resources, it might be a good idea to free up some savings/investments to bolster your living expenses. However, it would be prudent to seek professional help before doing anything along these lines. For instance, a broker will be able to advise you on tax advantages and disadvantages.
Think About Re-Mortgaging
Perhaps you have paid off or have a very little amount left of your mortgage. Have a chat with an independent broker to discuss eligibility and cost etc of re-mortgaging. I must point out that if you cannot keep up with the repayments mortgage, there is always a risk of your home being repossessed.
Ask Your Friends and Family for Financial Help
If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. Some friends or relatives might be able to provide a bailout. If so, always make sure that you are both clear about whether you are receiving the cash as a gift or a loan. Professional advice would be recommended here also.
Take in Tenants
If you don’t mind sharing your house with strangers, and have spare room in your house, this option could provide the much-needed extra money. It also allows you to remain in the property. There is a downside to this alternative, however, you lose some privacy and do have the added work of managing a lodger in your home.
Downsize Your House
If your home seems like it is too big for you or if it is an older property that requires constant maintenance, you might consider downsizing. If your current home is expensive to run or simply if you want to move to a different area, this could also be an option. Of course, there is a downside to this action. You might be leaving a community of friends and conveniences and also there are also some cost-related considerations such as: estate agent’s fees, legal fees, moving costs, and stamp duty.
Switch Mortgage Lenders
You could make significant savings on your mortgage if you can switch to a lower interest rate. Since 1 January 2019, the Central Bank of Ireland has put new measures in place to make it easier to switch your mortgage. Here is a link to the CCPC page outlining those measures.
Consolidate Your Debts
While it may appear silly to borrow when you are already feeling the effects of debt, a consolidation type of loan can cut down the number of outstanding debts to just the one. Lower repayments, improved personal financial management, and a debt-free goal might be just the boost you need to lift you mentally and as a result, make you feel good too.
Nobody plans to have money troubles and not pay their bills. Life happens! There are many circumstances we find ourselves in that are out of our control.
If any of the financial problems alluded to sound familiar to you, or you would like to discuss any of the various financial options mentioned, contact us here in mortgageline.ie today. We can help you get back on track!
Thank You – Stephen.