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The financial stress triggered by the global pandemic is still going strong. Many people around the globe are under financial stress, and for many their condition may be extreme. Learning how to deal with financial stress has never been more important.
Whether you’re struggling to pay bills or build up your savings, those pressures can take a toll on your health as well as your bank balance. Consider these suggestions that will help you manage your money and your stress.
How to Deal With Financial Stress – Steps to Take With Your Money
- Track your spending. Figure out where your money is going. There are websites and apps that will help you record your expenses for free or you can carry around a paper journal. You may be surprised to see how much you’re really spending on coffee, your nails, or hair care.
- Create a budget. Once you understand the situation better, you can start thinking about the changes you want to make. Writing a budget and sticking to it will help you to make smarter choices.
- Pay off debt. Is debt weighing you down? Start paying off your credit cards. Talk with your creditors and explore your options for refinancing. Ensure you understand the terms if you decide to borrow money from your house or other assets.
- Spend less. Whittle down your discretionary spending. Borrow movies from the library instead of paying for all those cable channels.
- Earn more. Think of ways to bring in more money. Hold a garage sale each summer or sell your crafts at a local gift shop.
- Save consistently. Could you handle an unexpected expense? Put money aside for car repairs and retirement. Small amounts deducted from each paycheck add up.
How to Deal With Financial Stress – Steps to Take With Your Mind
- Surround yourself with support. Challenging times are easier to bear when you can count on others for validation and compassion. If your family and friends are unable to help, join a jobs club or talk with a counselor.
- Meditate and pray. Many people find strength in their spiritual faith. Follow sound bible principles on how to cope with financial stress, anxiety, and hard times.
- Exercise daily. Physical exercise reduces stress and fortifies your immune system. Home videos or a morning walk in the park are just as good as pricey gyms.
- Eat well. If you’re having trouble affording healthy foods, learn more about nutrition. Beans, tofu, and seasonal produce are usually excellent values. Start your own vegetable garden and drink water instead of soda.
- Prioritize sleep. If anxiety is keeping you up at nights, develop bedtime rituals to make you drowsy. Drink chamomile tea and take a warm bath. Darken your bedroom and block out noises with a fan.
- Have a laugh. Laugher really is good medicine for lowering your blood pressure and brightening your day. Watch funny movies or call an old friend.
- Avoid excess. Alcohol, smoking, and watching hours of TV may seem tempting when you’re trying to cope with unemployment or large debts. However, there are choices that will make better use of your time and protect your health. Do volunteer work or play with your dog.
- See your doctor. Are you putting off medical care because of high costs? Your insurance may cover some routine tests for free. Many health care providers will negotiate a discount if you ask in advance.
How to Cope With Financial Stress if you’re Unemployed
You can make peace with your finances even if you’re unemployed or your income is lower than you’d like. Relax, take care of your health, and think creatively about how to manage your money wisely.
There are varying degrees of financial stress. For example, consider the stress levels in these statements:
- “How will we pay for the trip to Hawaii this year?”
- “We don’t have enough money to go out to Luigi’s, but we can have Pizza Palace deliver.”
- “We can pay the electric bill or the gas bill, but we can’t pay both. Remember that the bank said we’d lose the car if we don’t make a payment by the 10th of the month.”
Some people are fortunate enough to have never been in the last situation, but many people aren’t so lucky. Desperate times are highly stressful times.
The good news is that it is possible to learn how to deal with financial stress and get out of a financial crisis! Alleviating such financial pressure requires a cool head and a plan.
How to Cope with Money Stress and See Brighter Days Ahead
- Gather information. Get an accurate picture about your situation. It’s easy to make yourself more upset than necessary. Ensure that you have a factual representation of what’s going on.
- How much money are you making?
- What are your bills?
- How much debt do you have?
- What resources are available to you?
2. Focus on solutions. Commit yourself to finding solutions. Most of us tend to focus on comfort, which is a big mistake. Nothing happens when you make yourself comfortable. You’re just distracted. Spend the vast majority of your time looking for, and working on, solutions.
You can take it easy at night before bed and focus on making yourself comfortable then to help you have a good night’s sleep.
3. Eliminate every unnecessary expense. Most people have several expenses that provide little to no value. Do you have gym membership you never use? Magazine subscriptions? Expensive cell phone plan?
Get rid of every expense you don’t truly need. Of course, you must pay for your housing, utilities, food, medicine, and insurance. However, everything else is optional.
4. Determine what you can and cannot influence. Most of us worry about things we can’t control. There’s actually very little you can control. You can control your thoughts, attitude, and actions. Everything else is out of your hands.
Focus on what you can influence and avoid worrying about the rest.
Watch What Goes out & What Comes in Closely!
5. Determine how every penny is being spent. When you’re under serious financial stress, it’s important to know where all of your money leaks are occurring. Discover where every cent is going each month. Track it all.
6. Work on a plan to boost your income. If you had enough money, your financial stress would evaporate. There’s always a way to make more money if you’re committed to providing more value to the world.
You might want to get a second job or a side hustle. It might be time to start an online business or to look for a better-paying job.
7. Budget. Do you have a budget? Most people don’t. Choose where you money is going before you spend it. Make a spending plan and stick to it.
8. Find ways to relax. The solution to stress is to either remove the source of the stress or to relax. Plan relaxation time into your schedule each day. If you’re too stressed for too long, you’re likely to end up sick. Too much stress reduces your ability to function optimally.
Experiment with various relaxation methods to find out what works best for you. Some healthy options include listening to your favorite music, taking a warm bath, engaging in a hobby that pleases you, playing with your kids or pets, going for a walk, or hiking on a nature trail.
9. Ask for help. It might be time to ask for help. Friends, family, your employer, your banker, or even your creditors can all be of help during financial challenges.
Avoid Potential Harmful Results of Money Problems
Financial stress is a leading cause of divorce, suicide, and many health issues. Financial issues can be an overwhelming challenge. Ensure that you’re working with accurate information, scale back, boost your income, and make a plan.
Ask for help if you need it. There is a way out, although it might be challenging. You can do it!