Through the 12M Loans Scholarship Contest, we try to promote the interest of young people to personal finance management. Thus we seek to contribute to strengthening the financial education of American people, which will have a positive effect on the financial well-being of all citizens.
To achieve this aim, we are providing a scholarship to a student who would submit the most original essay and video or infographic on one of the proposed topics. For the Winter 2020 edition of the 12M Loans Scholarship Contest were offered two topics to choose from: (a) The Best Ways to Overcome Financial Hardships; (b) Where Do I Think Indebtness Will Lead Me. And now we would like to share with you the essay and infographic that we liked the most for its creativity and usefulness.
The Best Ways to Overcome Financial Hardship
Everyone has to overcome some sort of financial hardship. Whether that may be covering your bills or paying your student debt. There are many stressors that come from one’s finances, but it is important to keep a growing and determined mindset to overcome these challenges. Society has pressured many individuals, if not all of us, to be in a state of not having enough money. I will be discussing five tactics that will help anyone to overcome your financial struggles and really understand what your finances mean to you.
Identify what your hardships are. Finding what your financial hardships are can be easy or not clear at all. What is the source of your struggles? Is it impulse buying? Overspending? Not finding a balance in your spending? The list can go on. Ask yourself these questions and really think to yourself the cause of your financial issues. This will help you to discover the problem, and once you have found the problem, you can find ways to overcome it. Identifying this will lead you one step closer to being finically stable and stress-free.
Keep track of finances. One big issue that each person has is not keeping track of your finances. There are multiple ways of doing this. Your bank already keeps track of your spending by providing a list of what you have spent on through your credit/debit card. But by using this and keeping track of your spending yourself can improve what the problem is. You can easily use an app to plug in what you have spent for the day or write it down in a journal. Doing so will help you keep track of where your money is going and see what you are spending on the most. This will help you to understand how you use your money daily and how much of it. People ask themselves where does all their money goes to? By using this tactic, you can easily solve this question and many more.
Set financial goals. In my opinion, this is the most important tactic to use daily. If you do not have goals, where will you be going? Take some time in your day to think about where you want to be financially. For example, do you want to be able to pay the bills stress free? Or be able to have at least $150 to spend freely for the week? Reflecting on goals will help train your mind to achieve them so that you can be happy with your financial stability. I suggest starting with small goals such as, I want to spend only $280 on groceries. Having goals in specific places of your spending can help you limit what you buy so that you do not run out of money to buy what you need. Some areas to have goals in can include groceries, bills, restaurants, clothes etc.
Understand what you need vs. want. People have a hard time understanding the difference between want and need, which leads us to overspend and impulse buying. Letting go of your wants can save you tons of money so that you are able to pay for what you need in your life, such as your bills, food for the family, and so on. Buying things like excessive clothes and useless items can be harmful to your wallet. I believe this tactic can be very hard for others since what they believe as a need can be a want. Understanding what you need to survive and what you can live without is a good start to set your mind on the right track.
Be positive. Finally, be positive in this process. The feeling of stress and anxiety can get over anyone, but having the confidence and a positive attitude can relieve all of that. By being positive, you can achieve the steps above and achieve financial stability. The most important part of all of this is having the right mindset. If you do not have the right mindset, overcoming your financial hardships can be tiring and less rewarding. It even can result in more stress, so by having an open mind, anyone can overcome financial hardships. Believe in yourself and understand that it is okay to make mistakes. This takes time and understanding to have patience will make your goals even more rewarding.
My final thought for overcoming financial hardships is to understand that everyone is going through a similar thing. It is not going to be easy, but the motivation and happy mindset will really push through and prevail. These steps have helped me to overcome my financial hardships, but I have not achieved all my goals. It takes time and effort to fully recover from these struggles, and this really is a journey about yourself as a person. But I personally think these tactics are the best way to overcome financial struggles, and it will help you grow as an individual. Keep striving and pushing to get to where YOU want to be.
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Name: Aysiah Xiong
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Degree: Bachelor of Art
Major: Film, Video, Animation & New Genres
Graduation Year: 2023
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