Too much debt, not enough money, kids, marriage and the list can go on. There are a lot of reasons that you may be feeling some financial stress, especially with the current economic climate being like it is. Financial worry is one of the largest stressors on relationships, and when you are stressed out it affects other aspects of your life, too. You may have a hard time concentrating at work, completing tasks at home, getting a good night’s sleep or having happy and healthy relationships because you have the financial burden hanging over your head all of the time.
If you can reduce your worry, you will be able to focus more on your life, enjoy time with your family and friends, and relax knowing you have a plan that can help you handle your financial situation. There are a few things you can do now to relieve your financial stress and make it easier to function every day, and although some of them may seem scary and difficult, they are essential in order to get through this hardship to enjoy life to the fullest.
Create a budget
At first, you may think that a budget is only going to add to your financial stress, but it is the best tool you have to get control of your finances and stop worrying about money. A budget allows you to decide when and how you are going to spend your money. It is really a spending plan that makes sure you are reaching your retirement, and savings goals. It can help you find extra money to put towards debt.
The first few months of planning a budget are the most difficult, but once you understand what to do you can often reduce the amount of time you spend on it, and you can really reduce the amount of time you spend worrying about money. Your budget will give you the control that you need over your finances. It is the best tool to help you change your financial situation. Start with just one month’s of expenses and then go from there. Try cutting back in different areas of your life each month until you find the perfect balance – you will get there eventually.
Set up an emergency fund
An emergency fund is money you have set aside to cover unexpected expenses and financial emergencies. A financial emergency can come in any form, from redundancy, to being off work due to personal injury, to the boiler blowing just before Christmas. Although these repairs and mishaps can be expensive and stressful, if you know you can tap into your emergency fund to cover them, a lot of the stress will go away. Remember that, if you do find yourself signed off work due to injury, you will, eventually, be able to claim back your earnings, but be sure to get a good injury lawyer, such as mbpersonalinjurylaw.com, to ensure you get what you are entitled to. Try to keep at least $1,000 in the bank until you are out of debt, and after that you should work up to having about six months of your expenses put away, this way, if the worst case scenario happens, you will be covered for bills, food, and expenses until your claim comes in.
Get outside help
If you are really struggling with getting a handle on your budget and spending issues, do not be afraid to get outside help. You can take classes on basic money management and investing that will help you plan out a budget and do the things you need to succeed financially, as well as financial classes which coach you through budgeting and other aspects of your personal finances. A financial planner can also help you create a long-term investing strategy that will help you plan for retirement, or the kids going to college. It is important to realize that you do not have to face the problems alone and if you are feeling overwhelmed by debt you can also use a credit counseling service.
Work out what you can change
Often, if you are having financial issues, you have an income or a spending issue or even a combination of the two. If you know that you do not make enough money, decide what you can do to change the situation. It may mean that you go back to school, so you qualify for a higher paying job, or take on a second job in the evenings to cover costs. If you have a spending problem, and it is an addiction you may want to attend a group like Shopaholics Anonymous to get help dealing with the issues you are facing. Once you have a plan that will help you change your situation permanently, you should be able to reduce your stress.
One way that you can prioritize what to cut back on is to determine the hourly cost of your wants. This may make choosing which items to cut much easier, as you will have to work out how much you need to work to afford things.
Find positive aspects of your life each day
While this may sound like it is not really a solution to your problem, it can make a huge difference to the amount of stress that you are feeling. You can do this by tracking your progress towards your financial goals. By looking at the positive aspects of your life each day, you can also help you reduce your stress, as you will be able to see the good from the bad. If possible, try to find some healthy outlets that do not cost a lot of money. Regular exercise and taking care of yourself can reduce your overall stress and boost your happiness, which allows you to better focus on the problems and make headway. You can change your financial situation, and you will find it easier to accomplish if you are not worried and anxious all of the time.