Money does not only exist in our wallets and bank accounts, but is woven into every fibre of our lives, dictating where we live, how many children we have, and how well we sleep at night. Real Life Money is a holistic approach to personal finance that addresses the deeper causes of debt and financial difficulties.

Part memoir, part guide, Real Life Money by Clare Seal takes the reader on a journey that can be adapted to their own pace and circumstances. It will cover everything from how to negotiate repayment terms with creditors and setting realistic budgets without punishing yourself, to dealing with money anxiety.

The goal is not to get rich overnight, or to pay off debt at the expense of all of life’s pleasures, but rather to gain an understanding of why we feel the way we do about money, and how we can use that to change our mindset and our finances for good.

Today millennials are deep in debt. The struggle to pay rent and work in insecure jobs, is real. It’s hard to own a home or have enough money to start a family. For many of us lasting financial security is a passing daydream.

If your finances are a mess, don’t despair. In this book I learned what to do to get yourself out of debt, how to budget and how to appreciate the simple things when it’s all you have. We are in this together so take a breath.

One of the ways to solve your money problems is to admit them and be accountable. When we have debts or can’t afford to buy certain things, we feel shameful. And with shame comes silence and a desire to avoid the problem. This gets you nowhere. Owning up your flaws helps you escape the blanket of silence and inaction that shame throws at you.

Social media is disheartening when you are struggling financially to only see people living perfectly curated lives. And it can worsen your financial situation. Because when you see this, it creates in you the need to get a similar life which tempts you to use your savings or get into more debts if you haven’t saved.
To avoid such behaviors here are three things to do:
-Find ways to entertain yourself that don’t involve internet like meeting friends.
-Think twice before comparing your life to someone else’s and ask yourself if you would give up everything you have to get a similar lifestyle.
-Remember that what you see online is an illusion. People post what they only want you to see.

The best way out of your financial difficulty is to be clear about everything that happens with your money. Clarify your big goals and set smaller goals to help you get where you want to go. Small steps and a budget will get you back on an even financial footing.

Steps to set a clear budget:
-take a good look at your spending habit.
-look at your income and expenses; consider the fixed expenses (things you can’t do without) and variable expenses. If the sum of your expenses exceeds your income you have to reconsider your commitments. If the difference between income and expenses is positive and greater than zero, you’ll have a final sum you can choose to save, pay off debts or buy things you love.

Learn to live below your means. This will help you save more and also appreciate some things you might previously have overlooked.
To develop this habit first change your perspective to see that buying new things isn’t the only way to happiness. Find pleasure in hunting out used items that have real charm. Second , know that experience is better than possessions. Instead of spending your money on material things, think of spending it in making memories like visiting a museum.

Just don’t forget to live your life.

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