There can sometimes be a pivotal moment in your life when you realize that things are going to have to change if you are going to be able to improve your financial outlook.
It is all too easy to accumulate credit card debts and loans which can begin to feel like a monthly burden that is holding you back from what you want to do, so how do you reset your finances and get yourself back on track with your money?
Here are some tips and strategies that could help you to reset your finances, including a suggestion to go back to basics as a way of cutting your expenses, a plan for getting your debt under control, using retirement goals for motivation, plus some questions to ask yourself about your current lifestyle.
Stick to the necessities
A good way to draw a line under your current financial habits and find a way of starting over by accumulating some extra cash in the bank would be to commit yourself to a spell of financial fasting.
In simple terms, what this means is trying to live for a month by spending only the bare minimum.
You will have to be disciplined and commit to not using your credit card or bank card for the period and pay cash for any groceries or other items you buy, all of which have to be classed as necessities and not discretionary spending.
You will notice several key things when you try this spending diet for even a few weeks. You will almost certainly end up spending less on your shopping and having a weekly cash budget to work with will force you to think about every item you add to your basket.
Eating out at restaurants or a trip to the movies are not on the agenda if you are going to be successful in seeing just how little you actually need to live off compared to what you normally spend.
Take the financial lesson this provides on board and you may well change your spending habits in the future, giving you more money to put toward savings and paying off debt than you thought was available from your income.
Get your debt under control
If you have accumulated a level of debt and want to try and improve your financial situation the only way to do this is to address your debt situation and get what you owe under a greater level of control.
One way of simplifying your repayments and potentially reducing the amount you pay back each month would be to look at concentrating your debt into one loan. Having one debt payment to focus your attention on can help you plan your finances better although you won’t actually be reducing the amount you owe with debt consolidation.
If you do decide to consolidate your debts into one loan it is essential that you don’t waste the opportunity to improve your financial position by using your credit card again after you have cleared the balance.
Think about retirement
If you want something specific to focus your attention on when it comes to money you should contemplate where you are right now with your retirement plans.
Regardless of your age, you need to have a clear idea about how much you need to set aside each month in order to have enough money to live a comfortable and affordable retirement.
Saving for your retirement is easier the younger you start and if you are looking at resetting your finances in your thirties or forties there should be an increasing sense of urgency that should provide you with all the motivation you need to sort out your relationship with money as a matter of urgency.
Adjust your lifestyle
Many of us have the tendency to measure how successful we have been with our career and how well we have done in life by the material possessions that we have accumulated.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with aspiring to own a nice home and a top spec motor vehicle but if you have got a shiny new car parked on the drive and less than you would like in the bank it’s time to adjust your lifestyle and consider whether your existing lifestyle can be adjusted slightly to give you a stronger financial profile.
If you can make some compromises and lower your sights marginally in terms of lifestyle aspirations it could make all the difference to your financial outlook.
Whatever it is that finally gives you that wake-up call with your money, don’t ignore the signs that are suggesting it could be time to reset your finances.
Louis Duffy writes about personal finance for a range of websites. She hopes her words will inspire people to take action and gain control of their finances leading to more freedom and less stress.