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Say NO to financial stress

By Rajiv Raj
September 23, 2015 09:40 IST
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Life hacks to get your financial situation under control.

Stress today has become a constant companion in our lives, be it at the workplace or the home. It only gets worse if your finances are giving you sleepless nights.

Though there is no magic potion, there are indeed some life hacks that can help you get your financial situation under control.

Take these steps towards financial well being:

Get a grip over the problem area

There may be one or various reasons that may be causing you worry. These may be the lack of enough savings towards your retirement, making the right investments for your child’s education or your credit card debt that has gotten out of hand.

The first step towards reducing your stress is to identify the problem area instead of having a vague niggling worry.

In a peaceful state of mind, sit down with all your financial documents and find out what exactly is your problem area.

Make sure you have your latest Cibil score and Cibil report handy, as it is a good measure of your current financial health.

Use these documents to pin point where your problem is. That is indeed half the battle won.

Financial knowledge is your magic wand

In this day and age there are many ways in which you can educate yourself financially. A simple online search will lead you to numerous articles, videos and tutorials that will tell you about what you can do address your concerns.

Most of these resources are simple enough to understand and you can follow instructions and take the steps recommended.

However, do not base your judgment on a single write up or a tutorial.

Make sure you have read up or seen enough on the same subject matter and tweak it to your situation before you embark upon a solution.

Build an emergency fund

More often than not, building an emergency fund is the best way to take care of most of your money woes.

Resist the urge to go shopping online and direct all the money you can spare towards an emergency fund.

An emergency fund should be able to take care of your all financial needs, including daily expenses, loan and credit card repayments for a minimum of three-six months.

If you have an emergency fund, you will not find yourself in a soup, in case you are faced with a sudden crisis.

Reach out for help

While there are lot of do-it-yourself solutions in the financial world today, finances can be confusing and intimidating. In case you too are feeling the pressure and are unable to sort out things by yourself, do not hesitate to ask for help.

The best thing to do is to take the help of a professional financial planner, but if you do not have the wherewithal to do that, reach out to a trusted family member or a friend who can help you with your finances and get you back on a path of that will lead you towards your financial goals.

Be patient

When it comes to putting your financial life in order, do bear in mind that there are no quick fix solutions. You have to be patient and disciplined and take small and confident steps towards securing your financial future.

It may require you to cut corners and make some financial sacrifices in the short to medium term but ultimately it will be a rewarding experience and you will no longer be under financial duress.

The most important thing to remember while handling your financial stress is that you have to keep your head on your shoulders and not get intimidated by what is worrying you. Also do not think that you are all alone in your worries.

People around you may not show it, but they are probably facing the same troubles as you are! You may consider joining an online forum where people are forthcoming about their financial woes and offer solutions to problems that may be similar to yours.

The bottom line is that for every problem, there is a solution. So do not let financial stress weigh you down. Get on hold on your problems and set about tackling it right from this day forward! 

Photographs: Giulia Bartra/Creative Commons

The author is a credit expert with 10 years of experience in personal finance and consumer banking industry and another 7 years in credit bureau sector. Rajiv was instrumental in setting up India's first credit bureau, Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL). He has also worked with Citibank, Canara Bank, HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank and Experian in various capacities.

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Rajiv Raj