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How to Face Your Finances Without Fear

The following post is from Christina of Northern Cheapskate:

Country road and mailbox
photo credit: Earl Wilkerson

These are uncertain times. Prices keep increasing on everything from gas to groceries. Yesterday’s steady job isn’t so secure today. The stress can take its toll on our mental and physical health.

This stress can force you into fight or flee mode, and it may seem easier to ignore any financial issues you are having. But ignoring them won’t solve any problems, and it could create even more.

Instead, step up to the plate and take your best swing at your finances.

There is a way to face your finances without fear when you take these steps:

Face the reality.

This is the hardest part of the whole process.  You need to start opening your mail and looking at all your statements.  You need to tally up all of your debts.  You need to figure out how much money you have coming in.  Figure out what you spend on everything each month.  Collect as much data on your finances as you can so that you know exactly where you stand financially.

Devise a plan and start working on it.

You need to have a plan for your finances if you ever want to achieve your goals.  Once you have a clear financial picture, you should be able to see what areas need work.  Set a plan (you can call it a budget if you want), for how to reduce expenses, increase income, and eliminate debt.

Read everything you can about personal finances and managing your money.

Head to your library and read Dave Ramsey, Mary Hunt, Suze Orman, and Amy Dacyczyn.  The more you can learn, the more you can earn.

Be realistic.

Be realistic about what you can with your current financial situation do so that you don’t get too discouraged.  It’s very easy to get into money trouble, but much harder to get out of it.  Just remember that it is possible to turn things around, but it won’t be instantaneous.

Create a support network.

Find the people in your life who share a desire to control their finances.  You’ll be able to share ideas, inspire new ideas and encourage each other.

Repeat the process.

We all slip up every now and then; we’re human.  When you start to feel like your finances are out of control, just begin these steps again.  Remind yourself of what things worked to keep you on track and dump habits that derailed you.

We shouldn’t let ourselves live in fear of little pieces of paper.  Take control of your money, and you’ll feel a lot less trepidation in the stores and at your mailbox.

How do you face your money worries?

Christina Brown is the creator of Northern Cheapskate, a blog dedicated to frugal living through coupons, freebies, and money-saving ideas. She lives in the rural north woods of Minnesota where she clips coupons, pinches pennies, and chases her three boys (a 6-year-old and twin 4-year olds) as a stay-at-home mom.