Helpful Tips to Relieve Financial Stress
The burden of the economy has many of us facing high levels of financial stress. And while we’re experiencing it, few know how to help reduce it. Money troubles top the list of stress factors in our lives, and the feeling of falling short each month can cause an undue burden. To keep the financial stress in our lives under control, the following tips offer some helpful advice.
Confront your situation.
Instead of burying your head in the sand, be honest with yourself about your financial situation. Avoidance will never improve anything. Break the cycle of facing the same troubles month after month. The short respite that result from avoidance will ultimately give way to fear and stress all over again when you can no longer avoid a bill.
Make necessary cut backs.
Take a close look at your monthly expenses and see where you are spending on wants versus needs. Luxuries are nice, but in tough times it’s the necessities that need your attention. Luxuries may be things like daily coffee drinks, cable channels, dining out and fancy nails. Determine what you can live without and then make the necessary cut backs.
Live within a budget.
Creating a budget on paper and tracking your spending holds you accountable to your financial situation. Putting in black and white what you make and what you spend in a given month can help you decide the exact areas of concern and find the areas where extraneous spending or income shortfalls occur.
Generate extra income.
If you have trimmed back your expenses and there is still a shortage between what you make and what you need, you need to find a way to make more money. A little extra income can sometimes relieve stress drastically. Consider looking for a second job that is seasonal or part-time. Maybe you have a hobby or talent that you can market. There are also many extra income opportunities available in direct sales or network marketing.
Avoid the financing trap.
It is all too easy to live beyond our means because of easy financing. Just because you can finance it does not necessarily mean you can afford it. Evaluate every purchase before you make it, to decide whether it is really within your budget. You should also consider how much money you are throwing away on finance charges and interest.
Improve job skills.
If your goal is to make more money by finding a higher paying job, you may need to focus on new or improved job skills. Most communities offer classes and workshops that help you build a more solid foundation of skills. There are also a number of programs available that can help you prepare for a new career like welding, phlebotomy, or dental assisting.
Find cheap entertainment.
Free and inexpensive entertainment is everywhere if you do your homework. Most communities have street fairs, parades, parks and trails, minor league sporting events and concerts that are cheap to attend. The added benefit of fun and relaxation helps calm stressed nerves as well.
Remember to relax.
There is much to be said for meditation and deep breathing exercises. Just a few moments of these peaceful activities can keep your mind from working itself into a frenzied state. Stretching also helps to relive tension, and centering both mind and body can keep stress from overtaking our lives.
Protect your health.
When our finances are unhealthy, sometimes our bodies follow suit. Accumulated stress can lead to illness. Even in times of financial stress, continue to eat healthy and exercise. Exercise can help with stress and tension and the benefits of a healthy diet will help keep you well. Stop smoking for your health and your wealth.
Make financial management a family responsibility.
It is not necessary to discuss your money troubles with your children, but it is important to teach valuable money management skills to them at a young age. The knowledge your share and the examples you set will shape the financial skills they carry into adulthood. The sooner the family makes sound financial decisions, the better for all involved.
Getting your finances under control does take work. But when you’re able to live your life with far less money-related stress, your efforts will be well rewarded.