Talking to Someone is the First Step in Relieving Financial Stress
There’s a natural inclination to keep your feelings about your financial situation to yourself when you’re experiencing stress. Many of us view money as a taboo subject, which should never be brought up in polite company. If you’re having trouble providing for your family, talking about how much money you make or spend could be embarrassing. Unfortunately, keeping things bottled up will just increase your financial stress. You may discover that people are more sympathetic to your plight now because so many are having financial difficulties through no fault of their own.
Talking things out with a trusted friend or loved one is a great way to relieve tension, and it can also help you get perspective on your financial situation. If you keep your financial concerns to yourself, they will grow and become overwhelming. Just talking about your issues with a reliable person might make them appear much more manageable.
- It’s not necessary for the person you confide in to have the means to ease your financial burdens or solve your troubles.
- If they are willing to listen to you and work through your problems with you, they can lighten your load significantly.
- Open up about how you feel and what you’re going through
- In addition to helping you make sense of the situation, venting your concerns to a trusted friend or family member may inspire creative ideas you hadn’t considered before.
Consulting an Expert
It is possible to receive free support with debt management, budgeting, job searching, creditor communication, and the application process for government benefits and other forms of financial aid from a variety of groups, depending on where you reside. For further resources, please refer to the “Get more help” section.
Practical guidance from an expert is usually a good option, regardless of whether you have a friend or loved one to talk to for emotional support. It’s not a sign of weakness or a failure as a provider, parent, or spouse to ask for help. It merely indicates that you have the good sense to know that your financial predicament is a source of stress and should be addressed.
Telling Your Loved Ones the Truth
When dealing with financial difficulties, it can be extremely helpful to enlist the help of family and friends. If you are proud of your independence but may use some help with your finances, don’t keep it a secret from your loved ones.
Allow them to voice their worries. Your family and friends are concerned, likely about you and the family’s financial situation. Attend to their worries, and give them a chance to provide solutions to the money issues you’re having.
Set aside some time for (cheap) family activities. Schedule regular time together to relax, have fun, and forget about your monetary woes. The stress of a busy week can be reduced and the mood of the whole family kept upbeat with a little free time spent walking in the park, playing games, or exercising.
Do a Complete Financial Audit
Bills left unopened, phone calls from creditors ignored, and credit card and bank records disregarded may all add to the stress of trying to make ends meet. But refusing to accept the truth about your circumstance will only make matters worse. Documenting your monthly income, expenses, and debts is the first step in developing a strategy to improve your financial situation.
You can either look into the past by gathering receipts and checking bank and credit card statements, or you can look into the future by using one of the many websites and smartphone apps available to assist you in keeping track of your finances going forward.
Taking stock of your finances will give you a lot clearer understanding of where you are, and it will help you prioritize how you want to spend your money. And as scary or terrible as it may be, keeping meticulous financial records can give you back some much-needed control over your life. Don’t forget any possible income. Include not only your base pay but also any incentives, benefits, alimony, child support, or interest you receive.
Don’t Lose Track of Your Money
Buying coffee on the way to work might not seem important when you have a mountain of unpaid bills and growing debt. Nevertheless, it’s important to maintain tabs on all of your spending, no matter how minor an item may seem at the time. The first step in creating a budget and solving your financial woes is gaining a thorough understanding of your spending habits.
Recount Your Financial Obligations
Don’t forget to include any money you owe to loved ones in addition to overdue invoices, late penalties, and minimum payments.
Find Out What Causes Your Spending Habits
Do you go shopping or start buying online when you’re bored or stressed out? Do you, instead of cooking a meal at home when the kids are misbehaving, take them out to a fancy restaurant or order pricey takeout? Understanding your triggers might help you find more effective means of dealing with them, such as “retail therapy,” rather than just giving in to them.
Try to Alter Things Marginally
The cost of small purchases during the day, such as a newspaper, a sandwich, or a pack of cigarettes, can quickly build up to a noticeable amount by the end of the month. It’s not practical to deprive yourself of every last pleasure, but it is possible to free up some income to put toward debt by cutting back on unnecessary spending and finding strategies to lower your daily expense.
Spending on the Spur of the Moment Should Be Avoided at All Costs
Get you ever seen something in a store window or on a website and known you had to have it? Spending too much money or using all of your credit can be the result of shopping on impulse. Make it a rule that you must wait a week before making any additional purchases to break the habit.
Relax and Enjoy Life
Keep in mind that anyone, especially in these times, might get into financial trouble as you evaluate your debt and spending patterns. Don’t use this as justification for being hard on yourself about money. Relax and work on changing the things you can.
When Monetary Difficulties Become Symptomatic of a Deeper Issue
Your money problems may have other, less obvious origins. Examples of mental health issues that might lead to financial difficulties include excessive spending during a manic episode of bipolar disorder and problem gambling. If you want to keep from having the same money difficulties over and over again, you need to deal with both the root cause and the effects it has had on your finances.
Create a Plan and Commit to It
It’s important to remember that there’s as much variety in the sources of financial stress as there is in the potential remedies. Budgeting more carefully, negotiating a lower interest rate on your credit card debt, cutting back on your internet spending, applying for government aid, filing for bankruptcy, or looking for new employment are all potential solutions.
If, after assessing your financial situation and cutting out unnecessary or impulsive purchases, your outgoings still exceed your income, you have three options: improve your income, decrease your expenditure, or do both. Any of these objectives can be accomplished, but only if you put together a strategy and stick to it.
Locate the Source of Your Money Issues
Now that you’ve taken stock, you can see exactly what kind of financial difficulty you’re up against. It could be that you’ve racked up too much credit card debt, aren’t bringing in enough money, or are prone to making impulsive buys whenever feelings of stress or anxiety arise. Maybe there are other issues at play here. Prepare individual strategies for them.
Develop an Answer
Discuss your situation with close loved ones or a reliable friend, or reach out to a nonprofit organization that offers free financial counseling for ideas. A possible solution could be to contact your credit card issuers and ask for a reduced interest rate. Alternatively, you may talk to your boss about overtime hours, get rid of your car payment, downsize your home, or renegotiate your debt.
Start Making Progress on Your Plan
Give concrete examples of how you intend to implement your proposed solutions. The best way to pay off debt is to do whatever it takes, be it tearing up credit cards, networking for a new job, signing up at a food bank, or selling goods on eBay.
Keep Tabs on Your Development
Events affecting your financial health can happen quickly, as we have all experienced recently, therefore it’s crucial to constantly check your plan. Are some parts more successful than others? Should you make adjustments to your strategy based on external factors like fluctuations in your interest rate, your monthly expenses, or your hourly wage?
Try Not to Let Failures Deter You
We’re only human, so it’s possible that we’ll deviate from our intended course or that something out of our control may throw us off. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but try to right your ship as soon as possible. The more specific you can be in your strategy, the more control you will feel you have over your financial condition.