Money stress is a big part of everyday life and dealing with it is inevitable. It can come in varying degrees and at different times to a lot of people. It can be frustrating most of the time especially when you get your emotions involved. This can manifest in a lot of ways. You could be angry all the time, tired, and even begin to binge eat. Managing this can be challenging but there are a few things you can look into to help you get started.
Why are you stressed
The first step in managing money stress is identifying the reason why you are feeling that way. It might seem pretty simple but this is an important part of the whole process. Identifying the problem should be a top concern. You cannot solve a situation if you do not what you need to address at the start. This can give you a certain sense of direction in managing financial stress.
It might seem easy but discerning the real cause of your stress can be misleading. If you are stressed out with your credit card payments, it is easy to put the blame squarely on your credit cards. But if you dig deeper, you might found out that you have an impulsive buying behavior which leads to unmanageable credit card debt.
You need to be careful when diagnosing the real cause of your money problems. If you get it wrong, you could be trying to solve a symptom of a big underlying financial problem. If left unchecked, that problem can persist over time and give you the same problem over and over again. This makes it all the more important that you work on the real cause of your stress.
Fix what you can control
Now that you identified the root cause of your money stress, you have to understand that you cannot fix everything. There are instances in life where you cannot do anything on a given problem. Much like the health crisis at the moment, you might not have the solution to solve the problem. Trying to stress about it will not help you solve any problem.
Instead, focus on the ones you can solve. You might not be able to solve the health crisis but you can do your part in keeping the number of infections down. There is nothing you can do if the company you are working for is having a lot of financial problems and forced to let you go. But you can choose to use your time and energy in looking for a new job.
The idea is to focus on the areas that you can control. Remember that your time and effort are resources you need to manage as well. If you spend a lot of time trying to fix a problem that is out of reach, you can end up exhausted and frustrated. The results you get when you focus on the areas you can control can also inspire you to accomplish more.
Learn your lesson
There is a feeling of accomplishment when you overcome money stress. That is normal but you should not forget to take in the lessons as well. Each problem you overcome is a learning opportunity to make you stronger, better, and wiser in the future. These lessons can help you prevent falling into the same problem in the future.
Tips in managing your money at this time
There is a big chance that you are under a lot of financial stress because your income is affected by the pandemic. A lot of companies were forced to cut down on operational costs. This meant putting people on furlough or completely letting them go. If your income was affected because of the health crisis, here are a few of the most immediate actions you need to take.
You need to start filing for unemployment support if you were let go at work. This might take time some time since a lot of people are doing the exact same thing at the moment. You might have heard that the $600 boost has ended but there was an executive measure that came shortly after. This equated to $300 additional benefits as part of the “lost wages assistance” as shared by CNBC.
While the Federal Emergency Management Agency disburses the amount, only a handful of states have been approved for the additional funding. Regardless of your state has it, you still need to go ahead and file for unemployment. This can mean the difference in being able to put food on your table at the end of the week.
Budget your money well
To help you manage money stress better at this time, you need to have a comprehensive household budget. This means you have to list down all your sources of income and more importantly, every single expense item you have. You need to put in and list all of them because if you overlook one expense item, it can have a negative effect on your budget.
That overlooked payment could be a credit card payment a missed payment can do a number on your limited budget. Interest, fees, and other charges. You might think that you have a lot of extra funds in your income when in fact, you forgot to pay your credit cards. Your budget will also tell you where you are exactly with your income and expenses at any given time. This is important to be able to make informed money decisions.
Track and lower your expense
One of the quickest adjustments you can make that will positively impact your finances and lower your money stress is to cut down on your expenses. With your budget on hand, you can easily identify where you can trim down on your expenses. It can be with your food costs where instead of ordering take-out, you can prepare and cook your own meals at home.
If you have two vehicles at home, it might be time to let go of one of them. It will be tough to fit in the whole family’s schedule in one car but it can save you a lot of money. This is doable since children will be at home for school and most companies are asking their employees to work from home. Selling one car could bring in extra money into your finances and help you save money as well.
Side income can help manage money stress
A lot of your stress can be coming from your income getting hit with the pandemic. This is why if you can identify an alternative source of income, it can take a lot off of your shoulders. It is always a good idea to start with that one thing you already love doing. An income positive hobby can give you the extra funds you need at this time.
The reason this works wonders for a lot of people is that they get to spend time doing something they already love doing and earning from it. This is one of the reasons why people seem drawn to athletes. They are living vicariously as they watch people doing something they love to do and earning from it. You just need to put in the time understanding your industry and finding ways you can earn from it.
It is tough to manage money stress especially during this time but there are ways to help you go through it. You just need to remember as well that you can get valuable lessons from all these challenges that come your way.