You Can Learn To Deal With Financial Stress
The National Institute for Mental Health defines stress as, how the brain and body respond to any demand. Financial stress can present as feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or frustrated whenever you think about your money. My grandmother would say, At my wits end! However, you can learn to cope with financial stress. Below are a few tips to cope with financial stress and anxiety.
When facing financial stress, dont bury your head in the sand. Rather, bury your head in a relaxing meditation to calm you before thinking about your money situation.
Dont tackle your money challenges alone. Enlist a trusted friend or confidante to be your support on this journey.
Let bygones be bygones. Rather, let buy-gones be buy-gones. Take time to forgive yourself for your past money mistakes and leave them in the past.
Set smaller financial goals to give yourself the adrenaline rush of accomplishment, success, and fulfillment. Then build on that success.
Create a spending plan that includes a line item for fun. The plan will help you tell your money where to go and the fun line items let you reward yourself.
Take a six-month sabbatical from one spending category that is not a need. During that time, use the money you save to help reduce anxiety in another area.
Lastly, remember you are not the first person to be in a financial challenge and you wont be the last. Be kind to yourself.
Scott SturgeonFalcon Wealth Advisors
Surround Yourself With Positive People
I have mentioned this over and over again because I believe in the power of influence whether its direct or indirect and surrounding yourself with positive people is one of lifes greatest hacks.
Imagine living through this pandemic and being surrounded by people who have a self-defeatist attitude, what do you think will become of you?
Now, imagine being surrounded by people who are doing their best despite going through the same difficult situation.
There are so many people out there who are finding opportunities despite the uncertainties.
This is one of the main reasons why I started this blog, I wanted to become surrounded by people who have the same goals as me so I can be influenced to do better and to be better in what I do.
Try it for yourself, try surrounding yourself with positive people consistently, and see how it will change your perspective in life.
Signs You May Be Experiencing Financial Stress
- Feel anxious or constantly worried
- Feel stressed, tense, angry or irritable
- Find your housing security is affected. You may have trouble paying rent or mortgage or have already had to move from your home
- Be relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms, like abuse of drugs or alcohol
- Have late or overdue bills
- Have a credit debt or unpaid loans , with potential legal threats or proceedings associated with this
- Be overspending to cope with the stress of financial concerns
- Feel guilty when you do spend money
- Find your relationship with friends and family are strained
- Be delaying much needed healthcare such as putting off getting mental health support or medical treatments, due to cost or feelings of guilt.
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Stop Trying To Be Perfect With Your Money
Bryan-Podvin says one of the main behaviors she sees associated with financial anxiety is perfectionism. Telling yourself you’re bad with money any time you make a mistake contributes to financial anxiety. “We aren’t really taught the importance of financial or emotional resilience,” explains Bryan-Podvin. “If we mess up our budget, we have a tendency of saying, ‘Oh, I’m just not good at budgeting’ instead of, ‘Maybe I was a little ambitious in thinking I could cut down my dining-out expenses maybe I could give myself more grace next month.'”
Realizing that nobody is perfect with their money and that mistakes happen can help you navigate your finances better. “Stop and realize it happens to everybody. It even happens to me, as a financial educator,” says Rapley. “Then, figure out your course of action.” This could be giving yourself some wiggle room and setting a more realistic budget, or moving some money around. The good news is, if you make a mistake with your money, there is almost always a way to solve it. “There are very few financial scenarios where there is not a solution for it. There is always something you can do about it. You just have to research what your options are,” says Rapley.
Coping With Financial Stress
There are plenty of good reasons to worry about money, especially in these uncertain times. Weve all sat up at night, looking over bills or calculating expenses in our heads, wondering how to handle the present and plan for the future. Many Americans say that financial stress is a problem in their lives. Unfortunately, this worry can get out of control and can make things worse.
Financial difficulties are a leading stressor in society today, and this stress can have serious health consequences. Besides medical effects, stressing over money can cause depression and relationship problems. Financial stress can often be a cause of conflict in relationships.
Fortunately, you can fight back against financial stress. Here are a few ways to get started and stop letting money woes run your life.
Get a Handle On the SituationIts easy to imagine the worst when you dont know whats going on. Sometimes financial stress is so bad that people will leave bills unopened and stop checking their bank accounts. This avoidance makes things much worse.
Instead of avoiding, schedule a dedicated block of time to figure out where you are and form a game plan. Take stock of your actual situation by compiling all your account information. How much do you owe? How much do you have? Facing facts is scary at first, but its a necessary step to fixing the problem.
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Strategies For Coping With Financial Stress
Is financial stress getting in the way of your life? Take back control of your finances and ease your mind with these suggestions.
8 min read
Living with financial stress is an unfortunate reality for most of us. Even before the pandemic hit, people with debt, few assets, or limited income had always been especially vulnerable to financial anxiety. But at N26, we want to help you stay on top of your finances and ease that economic strain. Here are a few tips to help you cope with financial stress and start thriving.
Work With The Right Lenders
Whether you need fix and flip loans for a real estate investment opportunity or youre working with a hard money lender for specific needs, you must work with a quality lender. The lender can add to or subtract from your financial stresses. As a borrower, youre responsible for paying back any hard money loan, flip loan, or personal loan that you take out. As such, you want to work with a lender that caters to modern conveniences. This means enabling borrowers to pay online or through a mobile app. You also want to check your balance on the go, schedule payments ahead of time, and choose different payment sources depending on your needs.
Of course, youll have to work this all out with your lender. As the borrower, its up to you to do your due diligence, whether youre working with a hard money lender or youre a real estate-investing beginner. The right lender can make your experience that much better and help avoid any unnecessary financial stress.
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Stress Is A Manifestation Of Your Fear Of The Unknown
My recommendation to alleviate financial stress is always to gather as much data and information as you can, since you cant properly assess a financial problem without all the available information. Until you have all the info, any stress youre experiencing is really just a manifestation of your fear of the unknown .
Not sure if you can afford to buy a house in 6 months? Collect and write down literally every single data point you can think of. That might include how much cash can you put towards your down payment today, how much additional you could save in 6 months, what interest rate you would potentially be approved for on a mortgage, what your monthly payment would be as a result, and will that payment be sustainable given your NET income. Thats an abbreviated list! Without these points and their resulting calculations, its totally natural to be stressed out or overwhelmed. By controlling the process and gaining the knowledge of whats possible though, you can rid yourself of that fear of the unknown.
Scott Sturgeon works in the wealth management division of Falcon Wealth Advisors, helping clients navigate lifes obstacles, financial or otherwise, so they can pursue the things theyre passionate about. Leveraging his background in finance and law, Scott helps identify blind spots clients may be overlooking and assists them in taking action on strategies to most efficiently achieve their goals.
Urban AdamsDynamic Wealth Advisors
Focus On What You Can Control
There is no point crying over spilled milk. Whatever happened to get you to this point is in the past. It would be best to look to the future and, more importantly, the now. What can you do at this moment to improve your situation?
It is crucial to only look at what you can control. You cannot control the rising grocery or gas prices. You can control your budget and how you spend your income.
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How To Deal With Financial Stress5 Strategies
Now that weve covered the symptoms, it’s time to look at ways of coping with financial stress. The good news? With a clear plan of how to improve your financial and mental wellbeing, you can learn to cope and thrive. Heres a step-by-step guide on what you need to do to reduce your financial stress.
Build An Emergency Fund
Having money set aside for an emergencysuch as car repairs, job loss or illnesscan go a long way towards relieving financial anxiety. However, building an emergency fund can seem overwhelming, especially one with enough to cover three to six months of expenses. Dont get hung up on the amountwhats important is that youre consistently setting money aside.
Use your budget to determine how much you can contribute each month toward savings after accounting for the expenses on your needs list.
Prioritize building up three to six months of living expenses before you start looking at longer-term savings goals.
Set up automatic transfers from your checking to your savings account.
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Financial Stress: How To Cope
If you’re worried about money, you’re not alone. Money is a common source of stress for American adults. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association , 72% of adults report feeling stressed about money, whether it’s worrying about paying rent or feeling bogged down by debt. This is pretty significant given financial stress is linked to so many health issues.
How To Cope With Financial Stress In A Time Of Uncertainty
Coronavirus has essentially shut down the American economy, leaving millions of Americans with no jobs and causing lots of volatility in the stock market. Almost everyone, during these troubled times, is coping with unprecedented financial stress, which can be bad for your health.
You don’t have to spend your time worrying, though. There are proven techniques for coping with financial stress that will help you get through this crisis.
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Financial Decisions Can Be Driven By Emotions
From my standpoint as a financial professional, one of the ways to ease financial stress or anxiety is to speak with a professional.
Often, money and finances and decisions around them can be driven by emotions, which in my opinion is not the best frame of mind for making financial decisions. What I believe is helpful is to speak with a professional who can separate out the emotional aspect of what is causing the stress or anxiety and break the situation down into a possible outcome or outcomes.
It is also important to note that the professional should be a fiduciary and required to act in your best interests. Those who are not acting in a fiduciary capacity may sometimes try to capitalize on emotions to sell a solution often disguised as a product.
Urban Adams is an Investment Advisor Representative with Dynamic Wealth Advisors. All investment advisory services are offered through Dynamic Wealth Advisors. He specializes in providing investment management solutions and financial planning services for his clients.
Derek HagenMoney Health Solutions
Ways To Cope With Financial Stress & Anxiety
- Financial Finesse
Each year, Financial Finesse releases a research report on Trends in Employee Financial Stress Research. Last years report identified that 83% of employees report some financial stress. If you are experiencing overwhelming financial stress and anxiety you should take action immediately.
Check out this list of ways to deal with financial stress and anxiety.
Take a total wellness approach to dealing with the financial situation. It is important to recognize how you have dealt with financial stress in the past. If it has been with unhealthy behaviors, try a different approach this time around. Focus on eating healthy and get out there and exercise. Some people use prayer, meditation, and yoga while others may choose to focus on more intense exercise such as aerobics, kickboxing, or mixed martial arts. These healthy alternatives are better than unhealthy options such as overspending, neglecting bills or constantly hopping on the consumer debt treadmill.
Identify the source of stress and anxiety and take action to address the problem. What financial events are triggering stress? Is stress related to trouble making mortgage or student loan payments? Does filing your tax return create anxiety? Are you having trouble staying current with your bills or just not certain where you stand financially? Take some time to identify your money stressors. Creating a list of your goals and priorities is a smart step to take.
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Get An Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is a savings account meant to cover unexpected expenses and financial emergencies. Although a car repair can be expensive and stressful, if you know you can tap into your emergency fund to cover it, a lot of the stress will go away. It is also easier to use the money in your budget the way you planned if you know you have the extra money in the bank ready to cover the unexpected emergencies that may crop up.
You should have at least $1,000 in your emergency fund until you are out of debt. Then you should aim to have three to six months’ living expenses set aside.
Building an emergency fund may seem tough at first, especially if you are struggling to make ends meet each month. Start by putting aside a small amount, whether it’s $10 or $100 each month, so you can build up your emergency fund. You may also consider selling any unused items around the house to build up that cash as quickly as you can.
Chip Away At The Problem
Example Problem: Lets say someone hasnt balanced their bank account for months, theyre overdrawn on their checking account, have a stack of bills piling up, and they started getting calls from a collection agency. This person is feeling overwhelmed, like theyre drowning, and dont know where to even begin to tackle this huge hole theyve dug themselves into.
1. Chunking helps reduce the overwhelm by breaking down seemingly huge tasks down to smaller, manageable chunks. For the example situation above, the problem can be broken down into at least parts: balancing bank account, prioritizing the stack of bills, and responding to the bill collectors. Those three issues can be further broken down even further into chunks, such as with balancing the account can be chunked into balancing one weeks worth of transactions. Then once that one weeks transactions are balanced, theyd move onto the next weeks, and so on.
Sara Weand is a mental health expert who specializes in anxiety treatment.
Lindsay Bryan-PodvinMind Money Balance
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Talk To A Professional
If youre dealing with excess financial stress and unsure what to do, its only natural to start by looking at your finances. However, its also important to understand the root causes of these stresses and whether theyre causing relationship issues, job stress, and emotional strain. In many cases, its beneficial to see a counselor, psychiatrist, or trained psychologist.
With this, you have a few options to consider. For starters, do you want to visit a private practice, or are you more interested in teletherapy? For teletherapy, you can connect with a counselor no matter where you are. However, if you want to see an in-person professional counselor, you need to do location-based searches to find relevant practices. For example, DC therapists or therapy near me is a better search than cognitive behavioral therapy, which, while it is an important topic, wont help you connect to a psychologist as easily.
When youre working with a mental health professional or a psychologist, its important to understand that finances can exacerbate mental health issues and look for the root causes of these problems.
Stay In Touch And Open Up
To reduce anxiety, its important to stay in touch with your loved ones. Whether its a zoom call with your mom, a quick catch-up with your bestie, or a one-sided conversation with your dog, its important to stay connected. Financial stress can encourage you to withdraw from social situations. This means youre left to ruminante alone with your anxious thoughts which exacerbates the problem.
Though it may seem daunting, try to talk a little about the problems you’re facing and how youre feeling. Your conversation partner isnt going to give you all the solutions youre looking for, and nor should they. But, if they listen to what youre saying and are understanding, it can be incredibly relieving. Were social creatures, were not meant to go through lifes hardships on our own. Putting a brave face on things will only prolong your suffering. Hearing a few understanding words can make a world of difference.
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