Are you feeling stressed about your financial situation? Well, you are not alone.
Experiencing stress is human nature, as it’s the body’s natural reaction to a challenging situation.
Stress can come in all forms and stem from a number of factors.
Some people feel stress due to their jobs, their home life, or even their financial situation.
For a deeper dive into what stress is and herbs that can help with stress, check out my post 17 Herbs for Stress and Anxiety.
Financial stress is very common, and it comes from an emotional tension that correlates to money.
Many people face financial stress over the course of their lifetime.
There are many factors that cause people to stress over money such as budgets, debt, long-term goal planning, and overspending.
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So what can you do to lessen the impact of stress over money in your life?
Here are five tips to help you take control of your finances.
1. Create a Budget
The first step to help alleviate your stress is creating a budget.
A budget will help you organize and allocate where your money needs to go.
Not sure how to figure out what to estimate for specific expenses?
Begin by looking at your previous bank and credit card statements to record how much money you have spent in the past month.
Now that you have an idea of how much you can spend and still feel financially stable, you can start categorizing your weekly and monthly expenses.
Weekly expenses include food, household items, and entertainment.
Monthly expenses include rent or mortgage payments, subscriptions, cell phone bills, and utilities.
If you are unsure of where to start, use a budget planner.
Having a budgeting planner will help you stay organized until you feel comfortable creating your own.
Thinking about your future financial goals can help you control any future financial stress you may experience.
2. Set Realistic Goals
Now that you have a budget in mind, it’s time to start thinking about your future.
Oftentimes, not knowing your future can play a major factor in generating stress.
Similar to a New Year’s resolution, you should establish realistic financial goals you want to accomplish.
An example of a great long-term goal to set for yourself is buying a new house.
Purchasing a home can be pricey, as we all know, so planning ahead of time and setting money aside will help you achieve this goal faster.
Due to a variety of financial situations, consider looking into loan options that are best suited for you.
One loan, in particular, that has looser financial requirements is an FHA loan.
This is a noteworthy loan to consider, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer.
A few benefits FHA loans offer are the closing costs can oftentimes roll into the loan, credit score requirements are lower compared to other loans, and there are lower down payment options if the lender accepts.
Another realistic goal you could set for yourself is planning for early retirement.
A recent survey on consumer behavior states that more than half of Americans ages 22 to 24 think about retirement multiple times a week.
The survey also revealed that most people feel concerned about their retirement and doubt they will have enough money saved to live on.
One way to start saving for retirement is by periodically putting money aside out of your paycheck every month.
Eventually, the value of your retirement will start to add up before you know it, as long as you are not withdrawing from it early.
As long as you are consistently contributing to your retirement plan, eventually, the value of your retirement savings will add up.
3. Cut Back on Spending
In order to save money and work towards your goals, you must cut down on your spending when it’s possible.
Corresponding with creating a budget above, there are many things you can do to reduce your spending.
The first thing to consider is cutting back on shopping for unnecessary items.
This might include clothing, shoes, jewelry, home decor, and anything else that is not significant.
Another way to reduce your spending is to eliminate monthly subscriptions such as streaming services that you don’t regularly use.
By cutting back on your spending habits, it will relieve any stress you might be feeling when wasting your money on wants and not needs.
Cutting back on spending will also help eliminate or avoid debt.
4. Tackle Your Debt
One of the main causes of financial stress, and rightly so, is the fear of debt.
Understanding debt is the first step to getting yourself out of it.
One way to quickly pay off your debt is by evaluating which has the highest interest rate.
Try to pay off the debt that has the largest interest rate to avoid paying higher costs over time.
Reducing your debt can free up extra cash each month that you can put towards your savings.
If you have not accumulated a significant amount of debt yet, try avoiding it by limiting the use of your credit card.
Credit cards tend to have high-interest rates. It’s best to not put expenses on your credit card if you’re unable to pay them off at the end of the month.
This will also reduce the amount of daily stress you might feel when swiping your credit card.
5. Find Ways to Help Cope
After reviewing the steps above, it’s no secret that these financial moves won’t happen overnight, so it’s important to find ways to control your stress in the meantime.
Sometimes the best thing you can do when you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed about your financial situation is to find a distraction to help get you through it.
If you feel a pit in your stomach when you check your bank account statements, then try to find a solution to help you feel less anxious.
Start by finding an at-home workout that reduces stress and anxiety.
Exercising every day will not only increase your health, but it will also help your overall well-being.
You should also try your best to incorporate stress-reducing foods into your meals every day.
Examples of these foods that help reduce your stress levels are fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.
Another way to help cope with stress is to reach out for support.
Don’t feel ashamed to ask a friend or family member for help when you are feeling overwhelmed.
If it starts to feel like a more serious problem, try seeking help from a financial advisor or a therapist to help ease your mind.
Furthermore, it’s completely normal to feel stress from time to time, especially when it comes to your finances.
However, implementing any of these helpful tips will help you feel more in control of the situation and reduce your financial stress.