Money is the first cause of stress for most people and the number one reason for divorces. It makes sense to be interested in every available strategy to minimize the negative impact of money or lack of it. It’s a combination of planning, control and creating good behaviors. Furthermore, it’s all about sticking to a routine, while slipping in the occasional fun or shopping spree.  Here are a few ideas to make your life easier.

Draft a Budget

The first piece of advice might be the less imaginative or inspiring one, but it’s a cornerstone for your financial health. If you are new to this tool, it will take some time to get all your categories in order and learn about your spending habits. This is necessary so that you know why you are going overboard and how. You could be eating out too often or be the victim of compulsive shopping when you feel sad. Spend a month creating a spending log where you write and color-code each purchase. No cheating, put that $5 coffee in writing.

Debt is not a state of fact, but the result of a mindset. It’s a matter of defining your priorities and not falling behind or overindulging.

Get a Mentor, a Buddy or Other Inspiration

There are countless self-help books dealing with personal finance topics. The truth is that sometimes you have the know-how, but you miss the drive. This is where a finance coach, a mentor or a friend could step in. Having someone to keep you accountable is one of the most powerful strategies to keep your promises. Ask a friend who is in the same situation to share this journey and support you when you feel like letting go. Connect every time you feel the urge to hit the mall.

Also, try to find online those who inspire you through their personal stories. Read their blogs and get some tips and tricks you can use. Select a hero who is similar to you so that you won’t find excuses.

Get the Right Credit Card

Regardless of your credit score, there is always a company out there ready to give you a credit card. This is a necessary evil in our world since it’s the entry ticket to almost any service. The only problem is in what conditions are they so willing to trust you. For those already on the blacklist there are about four options available. Depending on how bad your score is you could have:

  • A regular card with higher interest rates;
  • A “bad credit” card with a limited balance and also high rates, here is a list of bad credit cards;
  • A secured card with a restricted balance and where you can spend after you make a deposit;
  • A pre-paid card which is similar to a savings account or a debit card.

Even if these plastics come with high-interest rates, they are an investment. If used wisely they can help you rebuild your credit step by step. Basically, you are showing credit institutions that you are reliable, have learned to manage money and can be trusted with more.

Make it Fun

Humans are competitive by nature; it’s what helped us survive and evolve.  Don’t look at your financial situation as a burden, but as a game. Try to set your goals as small daily quests and create non-financial rewards, like spending more time online or doing something you like. You could enjoy a financial compensation when you hit an important goal, just be sure to make it small enough so that it doesn’t set you back.

Create a roadmap towards your big financial goal and celebrate each small win along the way.