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Money is a difficult subject for most people. It’s very personal, meaning it can be a little taboo to speak about, and so when things go wrong it can make it difficult to reach out for help. Whether you’re in severe debt or are just stuck in the paycheck to paycheck cycle, there becomes a point where you have to say enough is enough. Here are some of the ways you can break free from the stress of money worries.

Get out of debt

If you’re in debt, the very first thing you’ll need to do when it comes to sorting out your finances is to get it under control. If the balances aren’t that high, try selling things you no longer use or take on extra shifts at work until it’s all paid off. If you’re in longer term debt and are paying a lot of interest, it can be worth speaking to a debt management company. They can often negotiate frozen or massively reduced interest rates and payments that are affordable. In extreme cases, bankruptcy can be the way to go. Either way, don’t bury you head in the sand, face up to your debt and find ways of putting things right.

Budget better

Once you’re out of debt, your next step is to start budgeting better. Open a separate bills account, and set everything to come out by direct debit. Then each week or month when you’ve paid, the first thing you should do is make a transfer to this account to cover everything. That way, your priority bills are paid first and the money is out of your main account there’s no risk of spending it. Use whatever is left to first pay for important things- travel costs or petrol, food and other essentials. Only once everything else is covered should you consider spending on luxuries or non essential items.

Start a side income

As well as spending the money you do have more carefully, one of the best ways to improve your financial position is to earn more of it. It’s not always possible to get a promotion at work, but something just about everyone can do is start a side hustle. You could start your own home business, selling things you’ve made or buy and sell stock for a profit. You could write a blog, or do some freelance work online. Registering a business is easy, and you don’t even need to sort your own taxes if the idea stresses you out. Hire an IR35 accountant to do it for you.

Save

When you’re in a better position with money thanks to spending more carefully and earning extra, start saving up. Give yourself a buffer, so that if you’re hit with an unexpected bill or end up out of work for a short time, you can afford your bills and don’t end up running up lots of debt. Save what you can, but aim for enough to be able to live for three months if you were getting no other kind of income. It can bring you such peace of mind in case something goes wrong.

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