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Loosing Your Grip? The Secret To Get Back In Control

When you’ve lost control over any element of your life, getting back that grip can be hard at first. Whether it’s food you have trouble with, or alcohol or perhaps it’s your finances that you just can’t seem to control, there are techniques you can use to help you get back in the driver’s seat.

For many, losing financial control doesn’t always mean a spiral into debt, it can simply be disappointment about the amount you spend and a poor ability to save. Obviously, if debt is a problem, the first thing to do is try and consolidate and clear it as fast as possible. This should always be a priority because maintaining debt is often more expensive than the debt itself. Short term loans and credit card bills, if not used wisely can cripple the pound foolish.

If you’re recovering from debt or find yourself unable to use a credit card responsibly, there are alternatives to traditional banking. Open a basic bank account online with any of the reputable online banking services. You’ll get a bank account that you can access online at all times, and most will offer a free issue Visa prepaid card. These online accounts can help you manage money effectively until you are ready to go back to traditional methods.

Once you have cleared the decks and can start at the again, there are three guiding principles that you can employ to help get you back in control of your finances and into an empowered position where the future looks bright.

Face reality

The first step to taking back control over any component of your life is to face up to the reality of your situation. Sometimes you need get on the scales and be confronted by the number that appears. Or perhaps what it takes is to look at your income, and compare it with your expenses. Making a budget will put you face to face with your actual living costs. This first step is always the hardest and hurts because it means you will have to start giving something up.

But with giving up the thing that made you lose control in the first place, you gain will power. The harder it is to say ‘no’ the stronger you will become. Trim your daily living costs down to the bare essentials in every aspect from grocery bills to telephone plans. Once you’ve done that, review your budget again and you might find that there is room to move where there wasn’t before.

Manage expectations

Erasing the problemsWhile there’s nothing wrong with aiming high and having ambition, when it becomes an overwhelming struggle to meet those expectations, high standards can be harmful. Learning to live a lifestyle that is more humble can be a hard transition. Realising that you can’t afford holidays, labels and champagne is never easy. But once you have put an end to the expectation that you can or should have those things, life seems to get a whole lot easier. Don’t set the bar high when it comes to lifestyle. No one needs the best of everything, in fact most of us make do with the best we can afford. Managing expectations is the key to feeling contented. Learning to be satisfied with less will have a huge impact on your finances and put you back in control of how much it costs to make your life feel like a good one.

Clear goals

Sometimes it’s not knowing what you want that can be your biggest obstacle, particularly when it comes to saving money. Many find they can’t control their spending in order to save more, because they’ve got no clear goal. No goals, means no motivation. If you set a goal or have a clear picture of what you want to achieve, then you will find it much easier to control your spending. You’ll find it easy to say ‘no’ to those unnecessary purchases because you know the money will go towards something better and more valuable to you. Until you have that goal, you will continue to struggle.

Reporting from London, William Masters has established himself as an in-demand finance journalist who covers topics of international economics and personal finance. If you’re interested in finding a  basic bank account online, Masters has frequently suggested Eccount to his readers.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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