If you are stressed with money, you are not alone!
According to CNBC, as much as 90% of Americans feel stress when it comes to their finances. That’s a lot of people walking around impacted negatively by their financial situations in life. For one, the health crisis did not help. What started out as a medical crisis rippled out and affected several other industries. In turn, many people lost their jobs.
Businesses and other companies went through tough times with a lot of people having to stay at home. This forced them to either close the business down or let a lot of people go. As a result, a lot of Americans went through a tough financial time during the health crisis. Some were able to survive and come out on top, others are getting by, while some are still struggling not knowing how to make ends meet.
This is the reason why a lot of Americans are still stressed with money. With most people trying to get back on their feet after the pandemic, finding your footing is no easy task. It is good that some businesses are beginning to get back on their feet. This means they are rehiring and giving people a source of income.
But even then, stress takes a long time to recover from. But it does not mean that you cannot do anything about it. It helps to be proactive in finding a way out of it. Be intentional with your approach to managing financial stress. Here are a few tips to help you manage and work on your money stress as you recover from the effects of the pandemic.
There are instances wherein if you find yourself stressed with money, it’s because you are comparing your own journey with that of someone else’s successes. You see someone way more successful than you and begin to compare what you have achieved with what they have accomplished in life. If you are doing this, the first thing you need to do is to stop comparing yourself with other people.
If you watch online influencers and see they have flashier cars, bigger homes, and even huge stacks of cash on a table, it can make you question your own finances. Why do they have those when you are struggling to make ends meet? But here’s the thing, not all of them are really that successful. Some of them could only be showing off.
What you can do is use their success as your inspiration to do better and be better. Don’t compare yourself with the success of other people because your journey and timing are different from others. Work on your goal and celebrate your own success. You will soon become an inspiration to someone who is just starting on their own journey.
Contentment and happiness
Finding happiness and contentment might sound like a far-fetched idea if you are stressed with money. But if you are able to stop comparing your life with that of other people, then you are heading in the right direction. It is easier to find your own zen once you stop running and wishing for what other people have.
Most of the time, it is the small things that matter. Time with your family, being able to spend a few minutes out on the porch, or talking to your partner. It could also be spending time doing things you love – baking, painting, writing, or reading. Your hobbies are a great way to help you let off some steam and give you genuine happiness.
There are some people who would make you look at your hobbies as a way to earn money. Income-positive hobbies have seen a huge spike, especially during the pandemic. But if this is only contributing to your stress, then don’t force it. Stick to your hobby even if you do not earn money from it. The bottomline is to have an outlet to help you lower your stress down.
Prioritize what is within your control
When you are stressed with money, there are instances where you are trying to control everything in your life. This can oftentimes lead to anxiety and develop later on into depression. You need to understand that just as there are things you have a direct hand in, there are also numerous aspects of your finances that are totally out of your control.
And here’s the thing – focusing on the areas you cannot control will only add to your stress. This is for the simple fact that there is nothing you can do about it. Take the health pandemic for example – you cannot stop the virus from coming near you and your family. That is out of your control. But you can focus on the things you can control.
This can be following minimum health protocols, giving healthy food, and even making sure they get to exercise. What this does is it increases their chances of fighting off the virus if they do get infected. This is something you can control. The same goes for your finances, focus on what you can control. You cannot dictate the price of goods but you can manage how much you spend on them. This will help you channel your energy into financial areas you can control.
Stressed with money? Splurge a little bit
If you take out that daily dessert from your budget, you might see a little increase in what you save. But you will soon feel like you are repressed and want to rebel. And when you give in, you might find yourself spending more than what you have saved up in the past weeks. Then you find yourself in the same situation as before.
To help prevent this, you can give in and spend on some of your wants every now and then. The trick is to make sure you spend a sensible amount of money. If you got used to eating out several times a week, try limiting it to weekends. Instead, explore learning to cook as a new skill. Not only do you get to save money but you also get the chance to serve fresh and nutritious meals to your loved ones.
Earn a little on the side
You could have read about this tip or people in your circle could have given you this as an unsolicited piece of advice. Though this is one of the most straightforward approaches to helping you manage your finances better, it’s easier said than done. For most people, this usually means taking up a second job or online work from home.
One thing that could help is to look for a side hustle that revolves around a hobby or an activity that you already love doing. This way, you can find it a little easier to accomplish tasks simply because you already love what you do. But in all these, don’t pressure yourself to start earning a lot from the beginning.
Don’t worry if you are only earning a small amount at the start. The important thing is that you get to start. A lot of people only plan to start but fail at actually getting started. When you get started, you can figure out how you can scale up to earn more.
It is not easy to be stressed with money but there are a few tips to help you manage it. You could be going through difficult times but make sure that you try and learn from it. This will help you become better and stronger mentally so you can face tougher challenges ahead.