Financial issues can be one of the biggest stressors for individuals and within relationships. Not having enough money or barely enough to pay the bills or worrying about whether a tragedy will befall, or you won’t be able to retire can be a constant source of chronic stress.
Here are some ways to help decrease your money stress.
First, Take Care of Yourself
Before you can do anything about your financial situation, it’s important to lower your stress. When you’re totally stressed out, it’s hard to look at situations with objectivity or figure out the best thing to do.
If you’re feeling stressed about money, implement general stress-relieving techniques into your life. Go for frequent walks, engage in a hobby, hang out with friends, do yoga, practice meditation, and do deep breathing. Whatever helps you feel calmer and more relaxed, do it daily to decrease your overall stress and elevate your mood.
Next, Look at Your Situation Objectively
Once you’re feeling calmer, lay everything about your financial situation out to look over. It’s crucial that you know exactly how much money you have, where it is, and where it needs to go every month.
If the numbers are confusing to you, find a family member, friend, or financial advisor who can help you be objective and figure things out. Don’t let shame or guilt keep you from attacking the problem. If you do, the stress will continue to weigh down on you and maybe even get worse. Many people have or have been through financial stress, so you don’t have to feel bad about letting others know what you’re going through and letting them help you develop a plan to fix it. Of course, you will want to choose your confidantes wisely, but once you do, hold your head high and avoid feeling bad about yourself.
If you can, write your financial situation out clearly. List your debts and their interest rates. Write down each monthly bill. Put your income. Lay out your savings and investments.
Once you have everything set out in front of you, make a plan. First, take your income and subtract all your bills. Consider whether there are some things you can get rid of and, if so, do it right away. Don’t wait because you might forget or change your mind.
Next, if there’s some monthly money left over, plan to put it all toward either your smallest debt or the one with the highest interest rate. Make minimum payments on everything else until that debt is paid off.
You may get there faster if you consider selling things you aren’t using or looking for a part-time job.
You may also wish to investigate getting a personal loan to pay off higher interest loan debts. This can consolidate them and get them at a lower interest rate for you.
Nothing in this article is meant to be specific financial advice. It is general information only. Always talk with a professional financial advisor for advice.
When you are taking steps to manage and improve your financial situation, your stress will decrease. Once you start to see the results of your hard work, it will be easier to continue. Be sure you continue to engage in stress-relieving activities while you tackle your finances.