Talk to your bank as you rebuild your financial future.
If your credit card payments are now back on track, then it’s essential to take stock of what else has changed.
Your bank is ready to listen and help you to move forward.
The sooner you get in touch, the sooner you can start.
Getting back on track after financial difficulty
If your finances and livelihood have been hit by tough times, you are not alone. Suffering such a loss can shake your confidence and often leave you feeling helpless.
A good place to start is by contacting a financial counsellor on 1800 007 007. These qualified professionals provide free, independent, and confidential information, and advice to help people better understand and manage their finances.
You could also contact Beyond Blue on 1800 512 348 who offer a wellbeing and mental health support service.
While rebuilding your finances may appear to be a tough task, there are several simple steps you can take to help.
Keep a diary of everything you spend over a week, then a month, and you’ll quickly see how things add up and where you may be able to save.
Assess your situation
The best way to start is to figure out where you stand right now, then think about where you want to land in the future.
You need to consider your income, your expenses, the debt you are managing and what savings you have to support you.
Just getting through each day may seem a challenge after suffering a financial loss. But with your finances starting to improve, you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Adjust your budget to your current situation
Taking a closer look at your budget could help you get your finances back on track.
Doing this will give you a better understanding of how much you can save or where to make some cuts in your spending to improve your financial health.
For assistance with budgeting, you could use the online Moneysmart budget planner.
Set realistic goals
Naturally, you will want to get your finances back on track as soon as possible, but you’ll probably have to be patient and face certain financial realities.
Even though you may wish to recover financially as soon as possible, if your expectations are unrealistic then you could become discouraged. It makes sense to establish a more realistic timeframe to get back on track then work towards that as a goal.
Build a savings buffer
Try to build a savings buffer as you start getting your finances back in shape. Putting aside a little from your income each week into a separate savings account will start building a safety net to help deal with unexpected costs or financial shocks. It may also help you avoid credit options that could put you further in debt. Even a small amount can make a difference, the important thing is to put money aside regularly.
There are plenty of online resources that cover various aspects of personal finances and managing debt. Working with a financial counsellor is a good way to work with someone who can help guide you back to financial recovery.
Think about whether you need a credit card going forward. Debit cards still allow you to shop online and ‘tap and go’ but allow you to spend your own funds.
Avoid companies offering to repair your credit rating. The Moneysmart website explains what you can fix and how to do it for free.