If you’re worried about money, you’re not alone. Many of us, from all over the world and from all walks of life, deal with stress and uncertainty when it comes to finances. Whether your problems are due to a recent loss of work, increase of debt, unexpected expenses, or a combination of factors, financial worry is one of the most common stressors in modern life.
So, what actually is financial stress?
Financial stress is worry, fear and anxiety about business or personal finances. When stress and anxiety rears it's ugly head, it can even cause physical symptoms like insomnia, headaches, fatigue and more. It is important to remember to always take care of your mental and physical health above all else. Keep reading to find out ways you can take back control over your finances (and health)!
1. Take Inventory
Just because the problem is not in plain sight does not mean it is not there. It is time to start looking through your piles of mail, stashed away bills in your junk drawer, and unread emails that contain important information. It may not seem like it now, but tackling this with ferocity will help alleviate your stress immensely. One of the hardest parts about taking back control is putting everything out into the open rather than running from your problems, hoping that they disappear one day.
2. Make a Budget (and stick to it)!
Making a budget for yourself will actually give you more freedom! Now that your situation is laid out in front of you, you can make a plan of attack. Creating a budget can help you determine if you are spending more than you are making each month. If this is the case, where can you cut back? There are great tools and budgeting methods you can find online to help you find a tailored plan best suited for your needs.
3. Pay Off Your Debt
You already know how stressful it is to have to worry about paying your bills when you’re already living paycheck to paycheck. Just imagine what it would be like if you didn’t have to keep giving your paycheck to student loans, credit cards, medical debt, vacations and more. Attacking debt is your next step to bringing yourself financial peace. There are great resources at your disposal to help you gain control over your debt, no matter what put you there!
Federal Trade Commission Website: Coping With Debt
4. Take Baby Steps
Financial freedom and peace does not happen overnight. Taking baby steps to gain back control over time will help you create a routine with a safety net and a plan. With each step, you’ll feel the stress and worry fall away as you journey toward financial contentment.
5. Practice Gratitude
You know the saying that the grass is always greener on the other side? This saying can be applied to gratitude and contentment as well. Keeping up with the Joneses on social media won’t actually lead to contentment. It will only get you further and further into debt. Learn what triggers your "wants" and start limiting your exposure to that thing. Starting a gratitude journal can help you shift your mindset when it comes to purchases. Make a list of things you are thankful for and positively contribute to your life!
Remember, no matter what kind of financial stress you’re going through, there’s always hope!