10 Ways to Deal with Financial Stress
According to Money & Career Cheat Sheet, a recent survey from December 2016 found that the top 3 money concerns facing Americans are saving for retirement (and making sure there is enough money to last), health care/medical expenses, and not having enough in emergency savings.
Dealing with financial stress is important. When handling finances, being calm and relaxed may help you keep a clear head and make better decisions.
Here are 10 suggested ways that you can deal with financial stress:
1. Identify Key Stressors
It’s said that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem…well the first step to dealing with financial stress is admitting you have financial stress! Then you pin-pointing the true thorn in your side is just as important. Maybe it’s paying off student loans, maybe it’s saving for a house, and just simply trying to keep your head above water with your bills. Whatever the specific financial stress, knowing the root cause will help you have a better idea of how to tackle it.
2. Use Different Language
You may have heard this before, but if your finances are a sore subject and it’s difficult for you to even think about them without getting angry, sad, or upset, then you may want to think about using different language when you talk about or even think about your finances. Don’t be too hard on yourself! There’s no shame in having financial stress, so start using more positive language around your finances and help boost your mood.
It’s simple and has been around for what seems like forever! But, there’s a reason why people still do it…because it can be effective. First, you may want to figure out what you spend in any given month and divide that into categories that make sense for you. Then, create a budget for your expenses. If your expenses exceed your income, then it’s time to evaluate what you purchase and adjust your budget so that your income exceeds your expenses.
4. Work with a Professional
Whether you are needing help managing debt or want someone to help with your retirement planning, working with a professional can be rewarding for your finances. A professional should help you build goals, create a plan, and work with you to get your finances where you would like or need them to be for your unique situation. Check out our complimentary eBook: Choosing a Financial Advisor, if you are currently on this road of finding some financial help.
5. Choose to Build Wealth
If your financial stress if over saving for the future, one simple way is to just choose to build wealth. Now, the concept is simple, but the execution may be more difficult. This goes into changing your mindset about finances. Choosing to build wealth means that you are consciously deciding to save money that you might otherwise spend on something else. Start by setting goal, then set aside a set amount every day, month, year that you deem appropriate.
6. Work Together
If you are married, or have close family members, don’t be afraid to work together with your finances. Tell someone about your goals so that you can stay accountable to them. Your spouse may be able to tell something is bothering you, so share your feelings. It will help bring you closer both financially as well as emotionally.
7. Create a Financial Plan & Have Goals
One of the best ways to get where you want to go is having a plan. You wouldn’t leave for an appointment with a new doctor without at least taking the address with you or reviewing a map first, so why would you put money away without an end goal in mind. Goals can help direct a course for a plan and help you stay level headed during stressful times. But remember to be realistic about your goals. Your goals shouldn’t be too outrageous for your current situation.
8. Stay Healthy
Dealing with financial stress is like dealing with any other stress. Staying healthy during the stressful time can be hard, but it’s important. Your immune system may become weaker under stress so keeping active and eating healthy can help keep illness away.
Do you have someone close to you that you can lean on? Venting may be a good way to help reduce your stress in the moment and allow you to clear your head before taking any action. Vent about your stress to someone who will listen. But be respectful, don’t burden them with too much information. Be cautious too, unless this person is someone who shares in finances with you, don’t divulge any information that you wouldn’t want to get out to others. Simply telling someone close that you are dealing with financial burdens may help you mentally destress.
10. Find Small Ways to Save
Start cooking at home more and save on dining out. Research ways to reduce your electric bill. If you have monthly membership at different places, research for better deals. Use coupons and try to buy items in bulk if you can. Even simple things may have a long-term impact on your finances.