Dealing with financial stress is a commonplace issue for many. Whether you are concerned with the amount of money in your savings account or are struggling to pay down debt, financial stress can have a serious impact on your life. You may think it is impossible to find constructive ways of dealing with your financial stress, but there are several tactics you can try to ease this burden.
Once you identify the exact cause of your financial stress, you can take steps to alleviate this issue, both in the short-term and long-term. When you learn how to positively deal with financial stress, you can more effectively handle these stressors if they reappear in the future. Different coping mechanisms work for different people, and you can adjust your approach according to your circumstances. Learn some tips for dealing with financial stress in your daily life below.
Determine What Is Causing Your Financial Stress
Before you can tackle your financial stress, you must first identify the source of this anxiety. There may be a combination of factors causing your financial stress, and each of these elements must be dealt with to ensure you are relieving your stress entirely. Some common causes for financial stress include:
- Rent or mortgage payments.
- Student loan payments.
- Credit card debt.
- Insufficient savings.
- Insufficient income.
If you feel as though there are several elements causing your financial stress, create a list of these causes and rank them in accordance with what needs the most attention. By creating a list of stressors, you can take the time necessary to address and alleviate each issue properly, before moving onto the next financial burden.
When you fully understand each of the factors causing your financial stress, it becomes easier to create a game plan to address them. Ultimately, this involves creating more financial stability in your life in order to eliminate this stress as much as possible. It is important to keep your list to a few items because a long list of stressors may cause you additional anxiety.
Remain Realistic but Optimistic
After you have identified the primary causes for your financial stress, you can shift your mindset to a more optimistic outlook. If you let your stress overwhelm you, it is difficult to get anything done. At the same time, you need to remain realistic throughout this process, as you may have gotten into financially stressful situations from overly idealistic behavior.
Finding the balance between being realistic about your financial future while maintaining a certain level of optimism is ideal for managing your financial stress. To develop this realistic mindset, come up with a plan for what you can do to help pay down some of your debt. For example, working an extra shift each week if you are able to can provide you with the added cash you need to manage your credit card payments. When you are realistic about your finances and put a plan in place, you can find a realistic way of dealing with these issues.
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Remaining optimistic during times of financial stress may seem difficult, as it is easy to become overwhelmed with all of your payments, accounts and debts. By giving everything a positive spin, you can begin to feel more relaxed while you handle your financial difficulties. To stay optimistic during times of financial stress, try to envision how you are going to feel when you make your final credit card payment or when you add an extra $100 to your savings account.
While you are at work, it may help to think of what you can do with the money you are earning to help you remain focused and optimistic about your financial prospects. Debt does not have to last forever, and having a positive mindset can help you explore new ways of managing your financial stress in a more productive manner.
Learn How to Make the Most of Your Existing Income
You may believe you cannot handle your financial burdens because of your limited income, but it helps to be equipped with the right mindset. This will help you to find a different solution if you are unable to pick up more shifts or otherwise increase your paycheck. For example, you can work on finding a more efficient way to spend and save your money.
Step one of this process is to create an outline of your necessary expenses, and any additional money you spend each month to determine where the bulk of your money is going. Then, you can identify areas where you can cut back a little. If you spend a lot of extra money on takeout, you can consider opting for more at-home meals instead and work on building an efficient shopping list.
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Identifying your necessary, non-negotiable monthly expenses is important, as this can help you manage your financial stress and can help you from falling further into debt. Make sure to chart your expenses for the upcoming month and include key items, such as rent and utilities.
With the remainder of your income for the month, then you can place a portion into a savings account and use what you have leftover to pay down existing debt. Once you have tackled some of your financial burden, you can start to use this portion of your income for other purchases in the future.
Take Small Steps Toward Larger Savings
People often experience financial stress when they believe they are unable to properly contribute to a savings account. For example, they may feel incapable of creating a savings account because they have limited income. However, it is not necessary to deposit large sums of money into a savings account just to maintain one.
Banks often have stipulations for savings account, such as a minimum monthly balance you must maintain to avoid penalty. This can seem daunting at first, especially if you are feeling the financial strain in other areas of your life. To conquer your fear of minimum balances, start putting aside a set amount each month to be used toward establishing a savings account.
You can start by collecting a small amount of money from each paycheck you receive throughout the month. Depending on the size of your paycheck, you can opt for setting aside $30, or you may decide you can afford to save a little more. When you have reached the amount necessary to meet a monthly minimum for a savings account, deposit this money into the account and add to it steadily throughout the month. By starting off small, you are setting yourself up to create a large savings account without sacrificing most of your monthly income to do so.
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