It is still early in the year but it is possible that you are already dealing with financial stress. This can be caused by a number of reasons and it can negatively affect your finances. It can set you back on goals you have set out for the year. It can even undo any progress you have made with your finances at the start of the year.
According to a paper by the American Psychological Association, the economy is the second leading cause of stress. This already includes personal finance and worrying about what the future will bring. It is a big challenge to think about the unknown but there are ways to help you manage that stress that it brings. To better understand it, here are a few things you can do to help you overcome it.
Identify your source of stress
The very first step you have to take when tackling financial stress is to have a clear understanding of where it is coming from. Simply put, you need to know why you are stressed out in the first place. Is it because your budget is not balanced? You have way more expenses every month and the income coming in is not sufficient?
There could also be times when you are stressed out because you have too much debt under your name. It is also a lot more challenging when you are dealing with high-interest loans. This can be in the form of payday loans or even credit card debt. However, you need to look deeper and understand why you have all these debts in the first place.
It is possible that you are in debt because and all stressed out because you are an impulsive shopper. Whenever you walk around the mall or even browse through online shopping sites, you cannot help but buy one for yourself. This is just an example of trying to identify the root cause and not just the effect of your financial behavior.
Address financial stress at its root
Once you identify the root cause, you can now look for ways to manage it well. If the problem is your impulsive buying behavior, work on it. You can choose to block shopping sites while you are working or using your gadgets. You can also choose another route when walking around the mall so you do not have to pass by your favorite shop.
One thing that can help you manage financial stress is trying to live a frugal life. This approach might have some people running in the other direction. This is because they believe this has a lot to do with being a cheapskate or even dumpster diving for things you need. However, this is just not true and being frugal t4can actually be a fun lifestyle.
Living a frugal lifestyle simply means living below your budget. This approach makes you rethink your spending and expenses. Take your food expenses at home for example. You might be surprised that Americans spend at least $70,000 on delivery and takeout in their lifetime. This was shared by NY Post in a recent article. Imagine if you will only start cooking your own food and bringing one at the office. This is just a sample of a frugal lifestyle.
Look for ways to overcome it in the future
One of the main causes of financial stress is the uncertainty that the future brings. One of the best ways to address this is to prepare for it as much as you can. Focus on areas of your life you can control. You will never know if you will lose your job but stressing about it will not help that issue. Focus on the areas you can control.
For one, you can increase your skill level to make you more valuable in the office. Doing this can also help you explore other employment opportunities with other companies in the industry. You can also pick-up other hobbies which can give you extra income with a side gig. It can be baking, photography, teaching, or other hobbies you already love doing.
One of the best ways to help you overcome financial stress is to have a strong reserve fund to help you manage emergencies in the future. The bigger your emergency fund, the more it can do to help you sustain your way of living for a few months when you go through something unexpected. It will also help you stay out of high-interest loans in times of emergencies.
It will also help if you can assess your attitude towards money management. You need to always keep in mind that what you do today can impact your finances tomorrow. It might be time to assess your current lifestyle and understand if it is helping you reach your goals or keeping you from achieving them.
Open up to people you trust
You might not realize it but one of the habits that compound your financial stress is keeping it all bottled up. Think of a soda bottle that has been shaken but not opened. That is a disaster waiting to happen. You can compare that when you are already stressed out and you decide to keep all those problems and emotions bottled up.
You need to talk to the people around you to help you manage your stress level. It is not a good idea to keep all your emotion inside and talking about it with someone you trust can help you go through your problem. When you talk about it, the more you can acknowledge it and find a way to solve it. It would also help if the person you talk to knows you well enough to give you great pieces of advice. There are even times when you just need to talk about it to unload your emotions to another person. After that, you feel lighter and you get to think about your situation more.
Look for a physical activity
It is a known fact that when you exercise, your body releases endorphins which helps you improve your mood. The better your mood and outlook are, the more you can manage your stress. As you exercise, you get to clear your head and think things through. The better you can think about your situation, the better you can come up with solutions that will work.
One other advantage of taking up physical activity is that it keeps your body healthy enough to lower the chances of medical problems. For one, poor health can increase your chances of getting sick. Once you do get sick, you might start to miss work where your income can go down. Not to mention that you might incur a lot more expenses because of medical expenses. This can be doctor appointments, medicines, and even the drive to and from the clinic can cost you.
Having to go through financial stress is a challenging point in your life that is why it is important to have an idea of what to do in that situation. You should never rush into quick decisions thinking it will make your situation all better. A knee-jerk reaction might put you in a more serious problem than the one you are in now.