Your financial situation can be one of the many triggers of stress and, if not managed properly, financial stress can result in a more serious illness such as depression and anxiety. The majority of adults have experienced financial issues at least once in their lives. Even rich people experience financial stress, which means encountering this situation is normal for all of us.
If you are starting to stress out about your finances, you can experience many symptoms that will greatly affect your daily life. You can start manifesting physical symptoms like fatigue, headache, and insomnia, and it will only worsen your situation as it can affect your job.
When you are going through this tough phase of adulting, you can do so many things to deal with your situation. To help you start your financial recovery journey, here are some tips on how you can deal with your financial stress.
1. Recognize Your Financial Stressor
The first thing you should do to effectively deal with your financial stress is to know the root cause. Ask yourself in what aspect of your finances is stressing you? Is it your income? Or your expenses? It can also be a general problem. Once you know what stresses you out, you can now know where to start.
Starting can be frustrating, but you need to act now. Push yourself and make sure that you will not procrastinate. The more you ignore your current situation, the more your problem will grow, and your stress will worsen.
2. Create A Plan
Roll up your sleeves cause it is now time to work to make your finances better. Once you pinpoint the cause, it is now time to fix it. Write down all your expenses, whether it is fixed, variable, or periodic. In case you are not familiar with these three types of expenses, fixed expenses are those you have little to no control over, like consumer debt and utility payments or rent, and these expenses happen predictably.
Variable expenses are the expenses that you have full control of. This is the money you spend on purchasing food, clothing, and leisure activities. The third type of expense is the periodic expenses, and as the name suggests, this is the expenditure that happens periodically. These are payments that come annually or semi-annually, such as taxes.
You must write down all your expenses to have a clear view of how much money you are letting go. Once you have written all of it, you can start making a budget. Focus on the variable expenses as this is where you can control your budget.
As Dave Ramsay said,
“You must gain control over your money, or the lack of it will forever control you.”
Take out unnecessary expenses and only leave those that you need, like food and personal hygiene. Set a monthly budget for your variable expenses to limit the amount of money you are spending each month. As a part of the plan, you can also think of a way to make extra income. Starting to feel stress about your finances is a clear indication that your current income is not enough, and having another source of income would be helpful. Once you establish your plan, the next thing you need to do is to carry out the plan and stick to it.
3. Talk To Someone
You must vent out your feelings to someone, whether family, friends or even professionals like financial advisors or psychiatrists. Stress, whatever its cause, is a serious issue that can lead to depression and anxiety. It is best to have a strong support system while you are making your finances better.
Support systems can also help you achieve your goals. Do not hesitate to open up or ask for help. Other people’s suggestions and words of encouragement will have a great impact on your journey.
There are also so many organizations that offer free counselling when it comes to dealing with financial problems. You can take advantage of this opportunity to seek help. You can also learn from other member’s experiences and how they cope with financial stress.
4. Don’t Forget To Have Fun
Entertain yourself once in a while. Just because you are on a tight budget, Doesn’t mean you have to make yourself miserable. You just have to be creative so that you will not have to spend much. Besides, having fun will also help you loosen up and minimize the effect of stress.
You can take advantage of nature. Take a walk or enjoy a picnic with friends. Instead of going to fancy restaurants, why not cook your food, bring it to picnic areas and enjoy it there. You can also go to the nearest beach and swim.
There are so many ways to have fun at little to no cost. In my personal experience, binge-watching TV series to satisfy my thirst for entertainment is quite fun, especially if I watch them with my family. It is a good alternative for the cinema where you will need to pay for a movie ticket. You know how to make yourself happy, you will just have to look for a way to do it for free.
5. Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress will help you monitor your improvements, and seeing the positive changes in your finances will lessen the stress you are experiencing. It will also give clear signs if your plan worked or not to create necessary changes if you noticed that your financial situation did not improve.
However, don’t be too complacent when you notice a positive result. Even if you are slowly achieving your goal of reaching it entirely, never stop making the financial aspect of your life better. There should be no end in the effort of achieving financial freedom. Continue what you started and notice the changes in your life.
6. Do A Relaxation Exercise
Relaxation exercise is an effective way to clear your mind and to destress. You can do simple breathing techniques like yoga. These exercises will also help you learn how to keep calm even during stressful situations.
There are so many relaxation exercises available that you can choose from. Just pick the one you are most comfortable doing, where you can do it anytime you feel stressed. You can also add a twist to your relaxation journey by incorporating calming essential oils.
7. Eat Healthy And Sleep Well
Eating healthy and having proper sleep have a huge benefit on people dealing with any kinds of stress. If you sleep properly, you can think the next day. You can also regain the strength and energy that you will be needing.
On the other hand, healthy food will help support your mood, which will result in a more positive outlook. Besides improving your mood, you will also be delighted to choose to buy healthy products as it is cheaper than junk foods.
Experiencing a few hiccups on your journey is normal, and don’t lose hope, continue what you have started, and keep thinking positive. Many people have been in your situation, and they managed to get out of the situation. If they overcome it, then you will too.
8. Be Positive
You should not let stress affect you negatively. Use it positively and act to make your situation better. Remember that this too shall pass and if you are determined to get out of your current financial situation, just follow the tips mentioned, and you will be fine in no time.