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6 Strategies for Managing Financial Stress

Anyone can feel money-related stress. Some people have it because they carry credit card debt and don’t have savings. Others worry about being ready for retirement. Still others have a good deal of money coming in but feel they’ve lost track of where it’s going and how it’s working for them.

Stress related to money can cause mental and physical issues in someone’s life, just like any other kind of stress. Luckily, you don’t have to let financial pressure get you down. Here are some tips for managing stress related to money and improving your finances at the same time.

Use Positive Affirmations to Change Your Thoughts About Money

When you decide that you want to make more money, decrease your spending, save more, or anything else related to money, create some coordinating statements that you can repeat to yourself about those decisions. Make the statements present-tense, as though you’ve already achieved what you’re after. Repeating affirmations helps your brain encourage your behavior to fall in line with them.

You can learn more about positive affirmations in general here: “Positive Affirmations for Stress Reduction.”

We have some suggestions for positive affirmations related to money here: “Positive Affirmations for Money.”

Focus on Gratitude

Sometimes, it’s easy to focus on what’s going wrong or what is scary or worrisome and overlook what’s going right. Change your relationship with money by having gratitude for the positives in your life and what you have.

Try keeping a journal and writing one to three things related to money that you’re grateful for each day. Any time you have a negative thought about your finances, repeat several of those positive things to yourself.

When you see money as a tool and not the final result, it becomes just another thing in your life that you use to maintain happiness and not an overwhelming, scary monster. Take time to appreciate what the money in your life has brought and done for you every day.

Cut Your Expenses Until You Can Save

Write down all your income and each expense you have every month. Then cut every bill you possibly can. Do it right away, so you don’t forget and end up with another month’s charges automatically taken off your credit card or out of your account. Every bit counts, so even if something only costs a few dollars a month, if you can live without it, cut it.

Once you’ve gotten rid of the easy stuff, give some thought to what’s left. There may still be things you can live without that you’ve previously considered to be non-negotiable, necessary bills. For example, your cell phone charges may very well be eligible for cancellation or dramatic decrease. If you pay for cable TV, consider cutting the cord. If you go out to eat weekly, cut it back to monthly.

Be as savage as you can when cutting extra expenses (and stress-filled complications) out of your life.

Increase Your Income

Look around your home and see what you can sell to pay down debts. Go room by room and make a pile, and you might be shocked when you’re done to see how much is there. You can have a yard sale or sell individual items online.

If you’re able to do a part-time job without negatively impacting your family time or health, you might wish to do so, even temporarily, until you’re back in control of your financial situation. You can also consider starting a business or doing an online or from-home side job.

Find a Professional to Help You

Financial professionals can help people make money plans and stick to them. Ask your friends and family for personal recommendations of good financial advisors in your area. Many do free first consultations, so you can visit a few and find one you like.

A financial advisor can sometimes help you see the trees in the forest when your money picture is too overwhelming for you to evaluate clearly yourself.

Take Care of Your Health

As you make plans to improve your financial situation, be sure to deal appropriately with the stress it’s causing you. Take time to do de-stressing things that work for you. The less stress and anxiety you are feeling in general, the better able you will be to handle your money situation.

Learn more here: “How to Destress About Money.”

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