02 Nov Control Your Money: 7 Ways to Reduce Financial Stress That Anyone Can Try
Financial stress is something most people deal with at one time or another, whether it’s paying off student loans, purchasing a first home, or affording quality health care. In fact, in a recent survey, 85 percent of people said that they feel stressed about money at least sometimes, while 30 percent said finances were a constant stressor. However, it doesn’t have to be that way for you. With a few tips and tricks, budgeting and managing money doesn’t have to be anxiety-inducing:
You can live without any debt to avoid unnecessary financial stress. That choice requires sacrifices like living in a small home and driving an older model car, but those who are debt-free feel content rather than deprived. Living debt-free gives you peace of mind. It also makes it possible for you to pursue work that you’re truly passionate about, rather than needing to have a high-paying job to keep up with bills.
Learn how to say no
Figure out what you like to spend money on. For some it means cutting back on spending money on clothes, nights out, to food I can’t cook, alcohol (unless it’s free or happy hour), and travel. You still enjoy nights out, and still drink (even if less), and maybe take fewer Ubers (more savings) and for those of us in big cities, it’s a great feeling the next day, the next day, when you realize you are able to do more fun stuff. The best part is that it has a compound effect on your finances.
Keep a budget
The best way to reduce financial stress is by keeping a budget. It’s the best way to know where your money is going and how much is coming in to allow your finances to stay balanced. You may use anything from handy apps to even handwritten ledgers, but keep a list and track your expenses. Every week or month, match your budget with your bank statement. This way you’ll know how much you do or don’t have to spend at the end of each week or month.
Set aside emergency funds
To reduce and ease financial stress, use emergency funds as a combative strategy. According to a Federal Reserve survey, 40 percent of adults don’t have the $400 to cover an emergency expense. No matter what state your finances are in, emergency funds are vital for everyone. Emergency funds remove pressure, which makes it easier to deploy increased resources towards eliminating one of the biggest stressors, debt, in the future. Establishing a savings and emergency fund in order to relieve financial stress and allow room to start paying off debt is the simplest way to minimize financial stress.
Practice positive self-talk
Whenever you’re feeling stressed about money and start to feel like you’re in a negativity spiral, practice positive self-talk. Here are some examples of how to assure yourself:
- There are always options and opportunities available to me.
- I don’t have to do this alone.
- I can tap into my network to pursue another avenue.
- If I just focus on adding value, the money will follow.
This helps me approach the situation from a place of abundance instead of scarcity. And that’s how you can not only soothe yourself but attract more money in the process.
Evaluate your relationship with money
By dealing with money as if we are in a relationship, you can start to create healthy habits. You may find it beneficial to check in with it every day (online banking), to not give it away unless you are getting something amazing in return (monthly budget), and some people ‘thank it’ for supporting them and their family (which is a quirky show of gratitude). In a way, your money and you are in it together for the long haul, so it’s better for both of you to treat each other with kindness and respect.
Know where the money is going
A great tip is you have to understand where your money is spent and which debt collector of subscriptions has access to your checking account. There are leaking holes in many of our accounts attributed to application subscriptions on our mobile phones, games that you paid for once but are still charging you. Are you spending more on utilities than necessary? Should you be spending less on entertainment and eating out for lunch every day? You will never know until you make a list of your bills that are recurring or fixed. If you have fixed outstanding bills building interest, pay those bills off first, then set your recurring bills on autopay on a monthly basis so you can eliminate late fees and interest charges. Don’t let your bills take hold of your creativity and freedom to live as a human being, after all, you too deserve happiness and a stress-free life.
Over to you: What works for you? Share your ideas with us via firstname.lastname@example.org