One of the biggest issues individuals and couples face is how to deal with financial stress? How to deal with financial stress is an issue that everyone faces at some point in their life, but it is rarely discussed. Furthermore, most individuals have to learn on the job when it comes to dealing with financial stress. This just shows you how much is lacking in this area as a society.
Learning about personal finance, what to do with your money, and how to maximize your gains can be costly and additionally, it is the single biggest contributor to financial stress.
To understand how to deal with financial stress, you first have to understand how personal finance works.
Once you have a better understanding of personal finance, you will have more confidence in your decisions and the direction you are taking.
For those of you that have cleared this hurdle, grappling with financial stress becomes an art in itself. To help you in your journey, we have compiled ten tips to help you deal with financial stress in your life.
1. Work Towards Goals And Maintain Balance
When financial stress creeps up into your life, it helps to remind yourself of your plans and your goals. Taking refuge in all of the work you have done helps you develop nimble responses to future challenges.
Most importantly, when you engage in taking control of your financial life, approach it with balance so it does not override all of your concerns.
Similar to how you may take up a hobby or engage in an exercise regimen, be sure to make financial matters a part of your life, not the theme of your life.
Individuals often make poor financial decisions when they are financially stressed and overwhelmed with options.
You can limit the negative impacts that thinking about financial difficulties can have by working towards the financial goals you have initially set out for yourself.
2. Start A Savings Plan And Stick To It
When determining how to deal with financial stress, start a savings plan. A savings plan is different from a budget. Think of a budget as what is happening currently and a savings plan as a what will happen in the future.
When you save money, you are preparing for something. It is an empowering experience.
Start by saving a small amount each month or each week. Regardless of the amount you save, make sure you stick to your plan.
Consistency and persistence often mark the successful saver from those that fail to grasp the basic concepts.
3. Make A Budget
Why would making a budget help you deal with financial stress? Because it is an exercise in taking control.
Making a budget is one of the best ways to relieve financial stress because it empowers you to make changes to your life. That is if you are able to act on your plan.
Furthermore, by following the advice given below in step 4 about getting financially educated, you should be able to make a masterful budget. A budget that you can not only stick to but that will also possibly change your life.
4. Educate Yourself On Financial Matters
With all of the free resources available, there’s no sense in not taking the reins yourself and building up a solid financial education. In fact, one of the best ways to deal with financial stress is to become more educated in the subject matter.
There are many financial blogs, Youtube channels, newsletters and courses that provide free financial education.
By following along with these free resources and spending some of your free time by doing your own research, you can teach yourself how to manage your money.
It will take some time and effort on your part, but by educating yourself financially, you can find the most effective way to get yourself out of your current financial stresses.
Furthermore, by educating yourself, you will have a better understanding of how to prevent yourself from becoming financially stressed in the future.
5. Write Down Your Guilty Pleasures And Determine How You Will Handle Them
Knowing what you spend your money on is one part of the process, knowing how to control yourself is the second part.
Do you enjoy going out for fancy dinners? Do you enjoy wine? Perhaps you like to go on vacation or even buy new cars frequently or dress in designer clothes.
Whatever your preference is, knowing that you like to spend money on specific items can help you either cut back or find cheaper ways to accommodate that habit. Understanding your spending habits is one way to deal with financial stress.
These types of habits are often the bane of your financial savings and investments. However, the first step is to identify these types of expenses where you realize you are behaving inefficiently from a financial standpoint.
Once you have identified the problem, you can rectify it by cutting back or sacrificing other expenses in your life to pay for these expensive habits.
6. Identify Areas To Cut Back
If you are feeling like your finances are getting out of control, sit down and take a step back. Look for ways to realistically cut back on your expenses.
Cutting back on luxurious items and other expenses that are considered ‘wants’ are two excellent places to start.
However, so are passive expenses like subscription fees or gym memberships that you don’t utilize.
When you look hard enough, you will always be able to identify an area that you can optimize in your financial life.
7. Think About Your Financial Goals And Write Them Down
A ship without a navigator is simply adrift at sea. A similar comparison can be made with the average person if they do not have any financial goals upon which they can motivate themselves to improve.
One way to deal with financial stress is to make financial goals. It could be something as simple as saving more money in general or saving money to buy a house, or a car.
Whatever the reason, having a goal helps you orient your mind to one that is about accomplishment and achievement.
These sentiments are different from impulsive fulfillment. When you know that spending money now sacrifices something later, you tend to reorient your mind towards what is most important to you.
8. Look At Where You Spend Money And Figure Out Why
When you examine your spending, look at broader trends and ask yourself questions about them.
This helps you put things into a broader perspective and one that will help you focus on broader themes instead of minor annoyances.
One example of a case study is if you find out you are spending notably more on power and electricity than before.
Looking at your utility expenditure, you also notice that there’s a slight uptick in your water usage.
In general, you notice utility bills that are based upon consumption have gone up and you immediately start thinking about how you can cut back.
But then you remember that you have had visitors stay with you for the last few weeks and as a result, utility consumption went up.
Here, you have broken the financial task into smaller parts, tied those back to larger themes, and then considered everything in the broader perspective of life in general.
Often, people experience great stress when they look at things in isolation and do not consider reasons why.
Expenses that you have control over should be carefully analyzed and acted upon. However, some expenses are outside of your ability to control. Knowing the difference can help lead to a lot of financial peace of mind.
9. Write Down All Of Your Spending
Keeping track of your spending throughout the month is less about controlling your spending habits as it is about making you consider what you spend your money regularly.
When you write something down, you commit it to a form of memory that makes you think about it, even if just briefly. Furthermore, the act of writing down all your expenses can be an effective way to deal with financial stress.
Soon, you may start noticing patterns of spending that you can nip in the bud right away.
For example, you might notice a large percentage of your daily purchases is from the lunch you buy. As a result, you might think about cheaper options.
Not because you know how much you have spent in total but simply because you see it so frequently listed.
10. Tackle Each Task With Focus
When you feel overwhelmed with your financial situation, you need to break down each task into single parts.
That means that you stop looking at the big picture and, instead, focus on smaller components. Such as individual bills and then taking it one step further down to individual expenses.
Why do you do it this way?
Because if you can consider each individual item by itself, you make cutting costs less of an unbeatable task and instead, something more manageable. This is because, mentally, individuals deal with smaller tasks better than grand plans, which is an important step to deal with financial stress.
For example, instead of looking at how much you need for all of your bills, look at how much you need individually for gas, groceries, loans, utilities, etc.
Figure out what you can pay now and what you might need to defer.
Rarely is every bill due on the same date. Learn how to stagger your payments and how to even break down larger bills into smaller payments.
One example would be a credit card bill.
If you keep your credit usage light but still find yourself struggling at the end of the month to pay your bill, then try making incremental payments.
You can do this by making smaller but more frequent payments, instead of one large payment each month. Many people find this way much less painful and more manageable.
The goal is to have enough to pay your bills without worrying. However, to get there, you need to start small and take responsibility for your spending habits.
The realization that there are 86,400 seconds each day. What are you doing today, so that tomorrow you are a step closer to where you want to be? If not now, then when?
eightysixfourhundred, make them count
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