Worrying about the future can often be traced back to concerns about a few key things – among those, money is typically the main candidate. Many people stress over how well they’ll be able to do in their later years, and this doesn’t just apply to those with less stable jobs either. It’s not uncommon to see this phenomenon, and in many cases, preventing this type of stress comes down to providing yourself with the right reassurance that things are moving in the right direction.
And this, in turn, is done by working hard to ensure that your financial future is as solid as possible. It will take a while until you’ve reached that sweet spot, but in the end, it will be worth every bit of effort.
Savings Are Important
Many people treat savings as something that just needs to be filled up to an arbitrary level. It’s not rare to hear someone saying that they have a couple of thousand saved up, so they’re fine. But the truth is, you should be aiming to have much more than that saved up. Ideally, you should be able to cover your expenses for 6-12 months comfortably, without having to stretch in any way.
If you have to dip into your expenses for such a prolonged period of time, this means you’re either going through a difficult moment – like a severe illness – or you’re looking for a job without much luck. In any case, you should not have to worry about counting pennies, which makes it important to be realistic about how much money you actually need to live comfortably for a month.
You Need to Expand
You might think that your regular job is enough, but if your goal is to have a truly safe and relaxed future, you should look into ways to supplement your income with something more. You live in a great time for that, too – there are tons of options available for side businesses, thanks to the internet. Freelancing is also an attractive option that many have turned into a full-blown source of income.
Do this in a risk-free way though. After all, the goal here is to ensure that your financial future will be stable and won’t come with any extra burdens. Don’t jeopardize it for the sake of trying to get rich fast.
Times Are Changing
A few decades ago, financial stability was relatively easier to attain in many parts of the world. It’s a different story today though, and you have to adopt a more self-centered attitude if you want to have any chance of surviving in this climate. It might sound egoistic, but it’s not about that. It’s more about the fact that you can no longer count on your employer to have your back in difficult situations, or even to set you up for retirement.
You have to deal with many of these problems yourself now, and this in turn makes it a bad idea to waste your energy on other people who have nothing good to offer you.
It’s Not Just About You
On the other hand, there are some people in your life who will certainly be of serious importance – namely, your family. Your financial future is not just about you, but also about those who will be around you. To that end, you should make sure that you’re including them in your calculations as best as possible, and you’re always accounting for the presence of these people in your life.
That applies even if those people aren’t there yet. If you still haven’t started building a family, that’s actually better – you’re in a more advantageous position to organize your finances appropriately for the time when you’ll be dealing with that in the future.
Maintaining Your Situation
Once you’ve found yourself standing on your feet and enjoying a good degree of stability, you should also put a lot of effort into actually maintaining that situation and ensuring that you don’t slip up at any point. Financial responsibility boils down to a set of habits that you’ll need to consciously develop and then maintain. It will take some time before you get the right attitude, but it’s going to be very important in the long run that you put enough effort into this from early on.
Because if you don’t, it’s only going to get more difficult in the future. Keeping your situation in check will be a huge challenge without the right set of habits, and you’re going to find yourself repeating the same mistakes over and over again, all because you never put any effort into addressing them in the first place.Continue Reading...
Being in debt is never fun, no matter how big or small the sum you owe may be. But in the end, taking out loans is a perfectly legitimate way to address many problems in life that boil down to finances, and they’re a good tool that has been around for a very long time. Knowing how to manage your situation when you’re in debt is extremely important if you want to get out of it clean and ready to move on though.
Otherwise, you risk seeing this devolve into something much more challenging to manage. It’s easier than you might think to let this situation slip out of your control, so make sure that you’re prepared, and know exactly what to expect.
Understand Your Situation
The first thing you want to do is to take an honest look at your situation. How did you get here in the first place? Why did you need that loan? Are you in a position to repay it without any negative repercussions? These questions are the kind that some people really don’t want to answer honestly for themselves, but you have to do that if you want to ensure that you’ll be able to repay your debt properly and without any complications.
For example, don’t just assume that you have the ability to pay your debt – verify that through calculations. Many people make various assumptions about their situations that end up harming them in the long run, and they can often be avoided easily by just being more honest internally.
Sometimes, debt collectors might contact you erroneously, claiming that you owe sums that you have already paid off, or have never owed in the first place. It happens from time to time, and the reason is not usually malice, but rather confusion on the lender’s part. The point is, if you have any suspicion about the debt you’re being contacted for, request its validation from the lender. They should have the original contract on file, and if the debt is legitimate, then the situation should be cleared up pretty soon.
Once they’ve validated it though, make sure that you respond immediately and don’t delay your communication in any way. You might have some very short timelines to work with here, so don’t postpone anything.
Make It Clear You Want to Pay
You should also communicate it in no uncertain terms that you fully intend to pay back what you owe. Sometimes lenders might get confused about your intentions – especially if you remain quiet for too long, as we described above – and they might take actions to protect their assets. You might find yourself in a situation where the lender can’t back off anymore if this happens, so make sure that you state your intention to pay back the debt in full as clearly as possible.
If you can do that in writing, even better – it’s always good to have a clear paper trail that can be followed afterwards if there’s any confusion.
Avoid Any Negative Marks
Once you’ve paid off the debt, verify that there are no blemishes on your record as a result of it. Even though the removal process is largely automated, sometimes it can get caught up at various steps, resulting in a slowdown or even completely missing to remove your negative marks from the report. When this happens, a quick phone call is often enough to clear up the situation, so don’t be afraid to talk to your lender if you’re still not happy with the way things have turned out a week or two afterwards.
Paying off the debt itself is only half of the story – you still have some work to do before you are truly back on your feet. Preventing this situation from reoccurring is going to be your biggest priority at this point, and you should do everything in your power to ensure that this never happens again. If you’ve put enough thought into analyzing the situation like we described above, and were honest with yourself about the overall state of affairs, then you should already know what steps you need to take next in order to maximize your future financial potential.
And if you feel like you’re coming back down to that level, and are going to need to take out a loan again in the near future, plan ahead as much as possible this time. Get professional help if you have to – financial advisors can cost a bit more than you’d expect, but they can go a long way towards helping you get a better overview of your situation. Plus, you shouldn’t have to work with one for too long before you’ve addressed most of your problems.Continue Reading...