Life is stressful, and all of our many responsibilities can add up to be truly overwhelming at times. One of many people’s biggest stressors is personal finances. All too quickly, your finances can spiral out of control, and you may feel that you’ll be trapped in debt or living paycheck to paycheck for the rest of your life. Thinking this way can be deeply upsetting and may even completely change your outlook on life.
If your current financial situation has you feeling overwhelmed, take things one step at a time to help get yourself back on your feet. Below are a few steps you can take to help set yourself on a path for financial success.
The best thing you can do to help alleviate feelings of stress surrounding money is to learn as much as you possibly can about money management. From opening a bank account, to applying for a credit card, to setting up a savings plan and more, there is so much to learn about the very basics of money management.
A strong option to get you started on your financial literacy journey is learning about how your credit score affects your finances. Your credit score will be the foundation of your financial journey over the years as it impacts your ability to be approved for loans and lines of credit. The higher your credit score, the higher loan amounts you can be approved for, and the higher credit limit you can be granted.
Building up a high credit score increases your potential to be approved for personal loans specifically. Personal loans are useful if you need a certain amount of money to pay for something important or want to consolidate your debt. Debt consolidation helps you simplify your monthly payments and can even reduce your interest rate depending on your credit score and other financial considerations. Consolidating your debt with a personal loan is a great first step to taking back control over your money and building better money habits.
Set a Budget
Once you’ve implemented a few new strategies to help you better manage your personal finances, it’s time to create a budget. Creating and sticking to a budget is a fool-proof way to feel less stressed about money. A budget determines how much of your money can go toward your various expenses and savings, making it easier and more predictable to manage your income every pay period.
Start by recording all of the income you can expect to receive on a monthly basis. This will be the foundation of your budget. From there, list all monthly expenses you have, including credit card bills, groceries, gas, other necessities, and free spending money. Once you’ve determined how much you spend on a monthly basis, you can then allocate any leftover money to savings and sinking funds to help you save money over time. If you find that you have little or no money left over after paying your monthly expenses, reevaluate your monthly costs to see if you can cut down on spending, and increase the amount of money you have left over for saving.
Without a budget, it can be easy to spend too much money on items you need or want, leaving you with not enough money to pay your bills or put away for saving. This can easily lead to a stressful situation that only snowballs each pay period if you don’t correct this behavior.
Seek Support From Those You Trust
If you find that your financial stress is not something you can alleviate on your own, look to those around you for help and guidance. From your friends and family, to financial professionals, there are a variety of ways you can get help from others to learn how to better your financial situation.
Perhaps you choose to confide in a family member by disclosing your financial circumstances and ask for their advice on how you should proceed. If circumstances allow, you may even ask your loved one for some financial assistance to help you get through an extremely difficult time. Your mental health and livelihood are much more important than money, and if you find that your financial situation is deteriorating your quality of life, rely on the help and advice of your family and friends to help you through a tough time.
If asking for help from loved ones isn’t something you're comfortable with, a financial professional is a great option for taking charge of your financial situation. If you are struggling with low income and high debt, a credit counselor is a professional who can help you better understand your financial standing and assist you in creating a budget. While these services do cost money, if you are in a particularly difficult situation, the cost would be worth your investment. Learning how to better manage your money from a professional will help you be in a better position in the years to come.
Managing money is a stressful task for just about everyone. Without the proper education and management tools in place, digging yourself out of debt can be nearly impossible. To help take back your finances and make your money work for you, try out these tips.
Knowing that the divorce rate in the United States is roughly 50% doesn't make being on the receiving end of that statistic any easier to bear. The good news is that a divorce is not inevitable in the face of marital discontent. It's possible to repair your connection if at least one of you wants to. In reality, experienced divorce prevention counselors have helped thousands of people on the verge of divorce or who had already filed papers find their way back to each other and happiness. That's why we've asked them for help, and they've told us all about which actions to take on the brink of divorce. Hopefully, they'll be enough to help you and your partner make the best decision.
Here are some actions to take on the brink of divorce
The movies are a great way to have a good time. Perhaps it's even something you enjoyed doing with your spouse. However, they can also lead to great trouble by ingraining the phrase, "and they lived happily ever after" into our brains. But we never get to see what happens after the honeymoon, and once real life begins, do we? The effort and upkeep, both mental and emotional, that a marriage demand is something you'll rarely see in any movie.
Considering and, let alone, going through a divorce is never a joyful experience. Heartbreaking, distressing, and at times emotionally numbing, this is the reality for many people. When a marriage seems hopeless, what can you do to rescue it? How do you refrain from falling over the edge? Is your marriage salvageable at this point?
Take a deep breath, as there are still some options worth exploring. You must broach the subject carefully and introspectively look at your relationship with your partner. Think of it as confronting a loved one about their drinking or gambling, for instance. In both cases, talking is just the start, but plenty of actions are required from you until you fix the issue. Here are the three most important steps to take on the brink of divorce.
#1 Be honest with yourself
Even though it can be quite a challenge, you have to do some soul-searching and give yourself an honest evaluation. It is a great action to take on the brink of divorce. So ask yourself: is there a lot of pressure on you right now? If so, it might affect your ability to make decisions concerning your partner. When stressed, it's easy to take it out on the people who love us the most. They'd get defensive in response, setting off a downward spiral.
It's also possible that your partner is under significant emotional strain, too. The cycle then turns around. Your partner is stressed and is being unfairly critical of you, putting you on the defensive. The marriage of two anxious people is doomed to fail. Recognizing this can be a turning point and a fantastic opportunity to save your marriage through stress-relieving hobbies. Or, you can always seek help from experienced counselors and mental health professionals.
#2 Truly evaluate your marriage
In the same way, you should evaluate yourself. You should also thoroughly assess your marriage. Go back in your mind to the happy times you had. What would you say if you could describe the situation and how it has evolved? You can recreate some of the conditions of the past.
Do you still laugh and enjoy each other's company, or do you just argue or ignore one other all the time? Something may be wrong if you feel like there are no more pleasant times, and you cannot picture yourself enjoying any in the future.
Spending quality time together is one of the keys to a successful marriage. Therefore, it's crucial if you want to save a marriage that is on the verge of failure. It's great for fostering a sense of belonging and safety. When people come together to have a good time, their serotonin levels rise, forming closer bonds.
#3 Think about reaching out to a counselor
It's always a good idea to talk to an impartial expert who can provide insight into the situation that those involved in the conflict cannot. A counselor's ability to identify communication gaps and provide solutions is always crucial.
Many men resist this concept out of fear of being attacked. However, this is rarely the case. The addiction recovery experts at littlecreekrecovery.org suggest that the same happens regarding substance or alcohol abuse issues. However, they advise that good counselors will also be impartial and ensure that none of their patients ever feels attacked.
The same can translate to marital counseling. Counselors help both sides hear how they come across to the other when barriers are up. They have the power to let you see the world outside your thoughts. Marital counseling can potentially be a powerful tool for rescuing troubled unions.
Now that you know what actions to take on the brink of divorce, try them. If you and your spouse are willing to fully invest yourselves in the process, we're sure you can quickly get to the bottom of your issues and figure out the best solution.
However, there's nothing to be ashamed of if you feel it's not something you can handle on your own. If that's the case, don't be afraid to seek help, as an experienced couple's counselor can help you find the best ways to prevent divorce and reignite your love for each other.
A tale as old as time; adolescent "door slam" phase. Painful? Very much so. Irreparable? Not quite. The core issue of our children's adulting stage (as well as our own) is - forgetting. We forget. They forget - just how strong and unbreakable the bond between us is. Instead, we become insecure, closed-off, anxious, and untrusting. The adolescent phase becomes a game of squash, but instead of the ball, we use doubt and self-doubt as our defense and offense weapons. The game is ruthless, and there are no winners. As parents, we are responsible for creating the necessary conditions for much-needed communication. We may look at them and think: "I don't know them anymore. They're nothing like the child I raised." - and vice versa. But, the truth is: no. They are. It's just fear talking. That is how to approach a teen that isn't communicating.
Talking is difficult
Oh, the long-gone days, the simple days when there was nothing but easy laughter, tiny hands, and their insatiable and vast curiousness. Why? Why? Tell me. Why do the stars flicker? Why do we have five fingers? Where do watermelons come from? - good times. But, they don't last - and it's okay. Welcoming our children to adulthood is beautiful, but we should take it as a cue to step up our parenting game. They don't stay the same. Why should we be given the privilege? Following their growth is only fair. But talking is hard. Covering complex and vulnerable topics is an exceptionally unpleasant assignment - to say the least. We never get used to "I hate you" and "Leave me alone"; the words pierce our hearts like a cargo ship anchor. So, are we ready to approach a teen that isn’t communicating? It's the only way out.
Silence for two
Parents aren't the only ones hurting; their teenagers suffer in silence, too. Most children start "pulling away" from their parents around puberty, just as other social circles start to bloom. Puberty is a sensitive period in one's life, where all insecurities and questions about "the self" surface simultaneously. The blitzkrieg sensation for the one experiencing it should not be underestimated or questioned - turmoil is inevitable. Still, it's not all on them. If things aren't going well at home, they might perceive us as unavailable or even negligent in addressing their struggles, thus gravitating toward other sources of support and comfort. (peers, coaches, and professors) Shake up the status quo. Starting a conversation during a car ride can be a good icebreaker, as driving demands our "eyes on the road" instead of tête-à-tête uneasiness.
I'm all ears
Active listening is key to repairing communication with our children. And, yes, we get carried away easily. Auto-traps set us up for failure. Out of a sheer desire to help, teach, and guide them, we unintentionally, unconsciously turn into monologue beasts, chasing the overwhelmed cub away. The plan backfires. Rather than focusing on what to say, we should learn to focus on listening. Bite your tongue, if need be, but deliver solely the promised noninvasive space for their articulation. If we want to approach a teen that isn't communicating, we should ask open-ended questions with childlike curiosity. Many experience familial turbulence before moving house, as novelties invite new insecurities. But, there are ways: pros can make it stress-free. By hiring professional movers, we can focus on the thing that matter the most - our children.
Don't skimp on affirmation
Positive feedback is of paramount importance. By engaging in open communication channels, we gain insight into our child's thoughts and emotions and a deeper understanding of their inner processes. Step 1. Active listening. Step 2. Empathy. Step 3. Provide affirmation. By offering immediate praise and support, we help our children build self-esteem and healthy confidence levels and inspire and encourage the continuum of "open flow" communication. For example, if our child opens up about feeling anxious or sad (no matter how insignificant the cause), we should say, "You are so brave for telling me this. Sharing something so personal is hard. Thank you for trusting me."
Don't "Back in my day"
Mastering this one is tricky, as it requires deep reflection. Time capsule hour; let's go back to our childhood days. Simpler times, no? Indeed. We had it easy. No TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Netflix, FaceTime - nothing. Just the good old landline. Cyberbullying? Science fiction. It's fair to admit: we don't quite grasp the magnitude of their struggles. - And it's okay. Things are very different today, but the universal truth reminds us: the adult world is as new to them as it was to us - back in the day. Relocation specialists from Zapt Movers share: "A large percentage of our long-distance clients are families with teenagers." - Let's add that to the equation of today's uncertainty. They don't have it easy. The world is not as benevolent as we remember it to be. Our children yearn for stability and certainty - and providing that safe space should be our priority.
Leave judgment at the door
Playing it cool goes against parental instincts, especially when we disapprove of it. What do we do if we get our children to open up, and it's more than we bargained for? "My friends smoke weed." "I skipped school on Thursday." "I had unprotected sex." The automatic response would be MUTINY. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS! But we know better than that. That's not good parenting. By remaining empathetic, genuine, and open-minded, we achieve more. We're not letting anything slide. Instead, we're choosing to approach the topic with open-mindedness and assertiveness. (not hot-headedness!) Setting a clear set of rules, boundaries, and expectations is what parents do, but always remember: the way we deliver it is what makes it or breaks it at the end of the day—kindness and acceptance, above all things.
If you don't know how to approach a teen that isn't communicating, remember who they are to you. Love them. Unconditionally. Tell them you miss them. Show it. Be vulnerable. And they will reciprocate.
Turning Point Counseling
A professional Christian Counseling ministry in partnership with local churches throughout Southern California. -
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