Stress is the physical or emotional response a person gives to the demands and pressures of daily life which include work, relationships, and money among others.
Some people experience more than mild stress when it comes to money. Stress comes with difficulties in sleeping, increased anxiety, and weakened immunity among others.
Since financial stress is specifically related to money, it may occur more often in households with low incomes due to the inability to make enough money to meet their needs like paying rent or buying groceries.
However much stress you have, little or overwhelming, the reality is that everyone could gain from reducing their financial stress.
Here are 7 ways to stop stressing over money.
Read Also: Understanding Financial Stress: Causes and Tips to Eliminate
1. Stop Comparing Yourself with Others
When it comes to finances, comparing yourself with others could lead to increased stress and anxiety. In reality, there will always be someone who appears to have more money or is in a more comfortable financial situation than you are.
To put an end to comparing yourself with others, consider using these strategies for a much more fulfilled life:
- You can start by asking yourself what your financial goals are and instead of comparing yourself to others, you can focus on your financial goals and priorities. To start you off, you can create a budget and a plan towards achieving your financial objectives. Also, keep track of your progress over time. This will help you move your focus away from others to build yourself.
- How grateful are you for life? This may sound odd but there is always something to be thankful for no matter how difficult life may be. By taking time to appreciate what you have rather than what you don't have, you are on a better path to realising your goals because practicing gratitude gives you focus. To start you off, consider keeping a list of things that you are grateful for. If you like journaling, then a gratitude journal would be a great idea! By regularly reflecting on the positive aspects of your financial situation, you could get a perspective that could help you see life for what it is instead of the façade that is created by what you may perceive to be the success of others.
- Scrolling through social media can make you feel like questioning what you’re not doing right with your life. Seeing people living flashy lifestyles while you’re still struggling could plant seeds of doubt in you especially if these are people you know. Since social media can often trigger feelings of financial inadequacy, it is best to understand that people will only present their best selves and achievements online but rarely the lows or the pains. To avoid a downward trajectory of yourself, consider limiting the time you spend on social media or you can unfollow accounts that make you feel bad about your financial situation.
- The ultimate thing to stop comparing yourself to others is to reframe your mindset. Instead of looking at financial challenges as a sign of personal failure, you can instead see them as opportunities for learning and growth. Embrace any of the challenges as a chance to build your resilience and develop new skills toward achieving your goals.
Read Also: How to Deal With Financial Anxiety
2. Work on Getting Over Financial Shame
Financial shame can be debilitating. If you are experiencing financial shame leading to stress, consider taking these steps to alleviate the feeling and improve your financial situation:
- The first step is acknowledging your feelings and then understanding that it is normal to feel ashamed or anxious about money. However, don't let those emotions control you by ensuring that you are working towards silencing them.
- The mantra organise don’t agonise could come in handy in your situation. Start by taking a close look at your financial situation and plan on how to get out of the situation that is making you suffer financial shame. You can start by creating a budget, listing your debts and expenses while also tracking your spending. By doing this, you will have a clear idea of where you stand and what you need to do to improve your financial situation.
- Setting realistic goals helps you identify specific financial objectives that are important to you, such as paying off debt, building an emergency fund, or saving for a major purchase. Work on setting realistic goals that are achievable in the short and long term.
- Consider investing in yourself by educating yourself. You can do this by taking advantage of online resources, books, and workshops to learn about personal finance and how to manage your money effectively.
- Once you have a plan in place, take action to improve your financial situation. This may involve cutting back on expenses, increasing your income, or seeking professional help to manage your debt. Additionally, whatever is causing you shame could be your associations like friends or social media? Consider cutting them out of your life for a better state of your emotions.
Read Also: Top 5 Ideas for Reducing Money Stress and Reaching Your Financial Goals Faster
3. Use Financial Planning Tools
When it comes to your money, financial planning tools can be helpful in reducing stress related to finances by providing a clearer picture of your financial situation. They can also help you make informed decisions which save you time and other resources in your journey toward overcoming finance-related stress.
Some financial planning tools which could help you reduce stress include:
- Budgeting and planning tools
- Spending calculator.
- Life cover calculator.
- Health insurance calculator.
- Pension plan calculator.
- Beta portfolio hedge estimator.
- Education plans with insurance.
- Property insurance calculator.
- Liability insurance calculator tools.
All these tools will give you the numbers which will help you make sound financial decisions depending on what your goals are.
4. Track Your Spending
Tracking your spending helps you gain a better understanding of your financial situation which can also help reduce stress about money.
Here are some steps you can take to track your spending:
- You could start by recording all your expenses including bills, groceries, entertainment, transportation, and any other items you spend money on.
- Then, categorize your expenses and group them into categories like housing, transportation, food, and entertainment.
- You can then set a budget since you have a good idea of how much you are spending in each category. Set a budget for each category so that you will be able to prioritize your spending and avoid overspending on any of them.
- To see how you are faring, consider using a tracking tool. There are several tools you can utilise to track your spendings such as spreadsheets, apps, or online tools. Go with the one that works best for you and use it consistently.
- Once you get into the habit of tracking your spending, review your expenditure regularly, maybe every week or monthly. These checks will help you review your spending and see if it is in line with your budget. By tracking your spending, you will be able to identify areas where you may need to adjust your spending.
Read Also: 8 Amazing Benefits of Tracking Your Spending
5. Live Below Your Means
Peace of mind is essential for all to live comfortably and without stress. One of the ways you can achieve this is by living below your means which greatly reduces financial stress and improves your overall financial health.
Here is how you can start living below your means:
- Identify your essential expenses: Make a list of your essential expenses, such as housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. These are the expenses that you must pay to live a basic, comfortable life.
- Evaluate your discretionary spending: Take a close look at your discretionary spendings, such as entertainment, hobbies, and luxury items. Identify areas where you can cut back or eliminate altogether.
- Set a budget: Use your essential expenses as a starting point for setting a budget. Allocate a portion of your income to each expense category and stick to your budget.
- Prioritize savings: Make saving a priority in your budget. Set aside a portion of your income each month for an emergency fund, retirement, or other financial goals.
- Practice mindful spending: Before making a purchase, ask yourself if it is truly necessary or if there is a more affordable option. Consider waiting to make non-essential purchases until you have saved up enough money.
Read Also: 10 Warning Signs You are Living Beyond Your Means
6. Consider the Worst that Could Happen
If you have ever been in a situation where panic attacks become the order of the day, then you very well know that sometimes we take life too seriously because we don’t how things will resolve. After overcoming a panic-inducing event, we build muscle to deal with tough times that we face afterward and we learn that however bad a situation is, it eventually ends, albeit with different outcomes.
Depending on where you are, you could consider planning ahead by preparing for the worst that could happen. As a strategy, this can be helpful in reducing stress and anxiety about money.
To do this, you could:
- Identify your financial fears related to money and then work out the different case scenarios. For example, if you’re afraid of losing your job and not being able to pay your bills, think about the options you could exploit to help you deal with the situation. This way, you will have thought out your plans well to at least give you enough room to maneuver in case you get to that point. Again, in consideration of the worst-case scenario, what would happen if your fears became true? How would you cope with the situation?
- You can also develop a contingency plan based on the worst-case scenario which could help you handle the situation. You may decide to build up your emergency fund, explore new job opportunities and reduce your expenses to free up more money or start a side hustle to supplement your income.
- Also, take action to address your financial fears. This may involve making changes to your spending habits as we have discussed earlier, seeking out new job opportunities, or investing in your education or skills to increase your earning potential.
Read Also: How to Automate Your Finances - Save Time, Money, and Stress
7. Seek Professional Financial Advice
If you opt to go this way, identify your financial concerns and then research the financial professionals you need depending on your concerns.
You could also consider asking friends or family members for recommendations or searching online for qualified professionals.
Once you have identified the professional, schedule a consultation to discuss your concerns and learn more about their services. It is during a consultation that you can ask questions to ensure that the financial professional is a good fit for your needs including their qualifications, experience, and fees among other things.
After settling on a financial professional, work with them to develop a plan for achieving your financial goals.
Read Also: Should I Get a Financial Advisor In My 20s and 30s?
Bonus point: Focus on the Positive
You can reduce stress and anxiety about money by focusing on the positive.
One of the things we have seen is practicing gratitude where you take time each day to think about what you are grateful for. Sometimes the common ceases being so once we start appreciating it more.
You could be grateful for a steady source of income, a comfortable home, supportive family and friends, etc.
Being positive could also include celebrating your accomplishments no matter how big or small. You could celebrate financial accomplishments, stick to a budget, pay off debt, or save enough for a vacation.
Again, work towards an abundance mindset and instead of focusing on what you don't have, focus on what you already have. Abundance thinking is a reminder that there is always enough and more can always come your way.
Read Also: How to Enjoy a Debt-Free Life in Your 20s
Since stress can be overwhelming, you could consider seeking support by talking with others who are experiencing or have gone through similar financial challenges. This can help you feel less alone and provide you with practical strategies for managing your money-related stress.
You could also consider joining a financial support group or talking with a trusted friend, or family member as you work through your financial challenges.
In talking with a trusted circle of friends or family, you may not have to go into details but there is healing that comes with speaking more about the issues you face.
You will feel less alone and anxious when you talk about your worries with your support network more frequently. Your circle might even be able to provide fresh insight into what you could do to resolve your financial problem.