“It creates this feeling of helplessness and hopelessness,” says Nancy Molitor, a clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, while talking about financial stress.
According to a report by the American Psychological Association (APA), 72% of folks in our country are moderately stressed and 22% are extremely stressed about money.
As a result, it is leading to severe health problems like depression along with sleep deprivation. With the rising living costs, many people in our country are suffering from the crux of financial hardship.
Go through the following points to eradicate those negative thoughts and have a good sleep at night!
Well-plan a budget
It’s probably the best tool to control your finances.
Write down your income from all sources along with your monthly expenses. Then plan your expenses based on your income. Hence, you will get into a habit of saving money.
The main challenge would be sticking to your budget during the initial days. But once you master it, controlling your money will be fruitful to you.
Tracking your money makes you budget-savvy and thus restricts you from overspending. As a result, you stop stressing about your money!
Approach a financial planner
What if you are not been able to chalk out a budget? What if you can’t stick to your budget plan?
For these problems, you might consult a professional financial planner. You can get help with your short-term and long-term financial goals. They will brief you about money management and design an apt budget for you.
Financial planners do thorough research and analysis to look for suitable investment options and tax saving schemes for you.
But make sure you consult a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board).
Cash is king
A study by Avni M. Shah, an assistant marketing professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough, reveals that you might spend less if you carry cash. The reason being a different psychological response while using cash for your expenses.
It was also found that while using plastic money, especially credit cards, people can’t feel their expenditure. But while spending by cash people value more.
So, it’s advisable to use cash while spending to avoid unnecessary debts.
Are you up to the neck in debt?
If you are still overwhelmed with unsecured debts, you can opt for some debt relief options. Let’s have a detailed view of some debt relief options!
- Debt consolidation:
This helps you when you are stuck with your multiple unsecured debts with high rates of interest.
Usually, unsecured debts like payday loans (pdls) have a very high Annual Percentage Rate (APR). As a result, you have to pay off much more than the original amount.
But in your daily life, you might feel exhausted by managing all the due dates for your various dates.
Now, what if I tell you about consolidated payments for all your debts? And that too with a relatively lower interest rate?
Yes, don’t get surprised! Debt consolidation helps you to pay off your multiple debts in the form of single monthly payments. And these single monthly payments come with a comparatively lower interest rate.
Like, if you are trapped with different pdls, then opting for payday loan consolidation might help you out!
In addition, opting debt consolidation improves your credit report and score with time.
- Debt settlement:
Getting stressed with those incessant collection calls?
Then it can be assumed that you might have fallen short of funds to pay off your outstanding payable amount.
But, no need to worry! This situation might occur due to some financial crunch or any other contingency. So, you can opt for debt settlement to get yourself out of this scenario.
In debt settlement, you negotiate with your creditors to reduce the outstanding payable amount. Your creditors might reduce the said amount after negotiation.
But this affects your credit report for almost 7 years.
- Debt snowball: In this method, you start paying off your debts with the smallest amount first. You have to make minimum payments on all your debts and put an extra amount for paying off the smallest outstanding balance.
Ultimately, you would pay off the largest outstanding amount with time and make yourself debt free.
Basically, you feel a psychological victory by paying off your debts one by one. This keeps you motivated to get out of the debt trap.
- Debt avalanche: Here, at first you have to pay the debt with the highest rate of interest. In this method also, you have to make minimum payments on all your debts. Pay an extra amount to pay off the loan with the highest interest rate.
After that, target the second highest interest debt. You have to continue paying this way until all your debts are paid off.
However, it’s always advisable to pay off your debts on time. This helps you to lead a frugal life and far away from financial agitation.
Set up an emergency fund
Slumps don’t knock the doors before it’s arrival in our life. So, it’s always better to be prepared enough to handle adverse situations.
Thus, the creation of an emergency fund is one of the ways to deal with your contingencies. You might be shocked to hear that almost 40% of people in our country don’t have a proper Emergency fund!
Saving a portion of money for an emergency fund is really necessary. You can utilize the fund during any mishap and thus restrict you to take out loans in that situation.
Stay away from social media
Social media is a place where people are usually busy showcasing their lives. You get to see the happening part of their lives only. Basically, you see what they want to show you!
As a result, going through some fancy posts can impel you to feel demoralized. And the sad part is, you end up getting more stressed!
So, it’s advisable to concentrate on your life and give a better shape to it. Your career, financial portfolio, family, all these are an integral part of your life. Focusing on them will sustain motivation in you, keeping the financial burden at a distance.
Always be positive!
We know that stressing about money makes you feel depressed and demoralized. At the end of the day, you might become pessimistic regarding every aspect of life. But always remember that this is a temporary phase and can be resolved by taking proper measures.
Rather you should set financial goals in your life and be happy! You have to be an optimistic person and get out of your financial apprehension. So, you can follow certain steps to stop stressing about money.
- Dr. John J. Ratey has mentioned in his book “Spark” that doing exercise is one of the effective ways of handling stress and coping with anxiety.
Now, you might think that I am asking you to join a jazzy gym by with a hefty subscription fee. NO, actually it’s not that!
You can easily do a workout session at your home just for 30 minutes. And these 30 minutes can bring ample benefits to your life like :
- Doing exercise boosts up your endorphins, which are your body’s feel-good neurotransmitters.
- It makes you feel relaxed and happy. As a result, it helps you to get rid of sleep deprivation, caused by financial anxiety.
- A study by the University of Michigan and the Genesee County Health Department (published in the CDC Journal Preventing Chronic Disease) reveals that most of us reduce the expenses of positive things in our life while going through financial stress. For example, expenses on our necessary medicines, doctor’s consultation fees, etc.
You might be thinking that you will save so much money if you do this. But the irony is, your health gets highly compromised if you do these adverse things.
- A 2014 report published in the JAMA Internal Medicine propounded that meditation is a fruitful anxiety help along with other health benefits.
Financial stress makes you think about money every here and there. This results in you to squirm and subsequently, your heart rate and blood pressure increases.
Meditation helps you to stay calm and composed. Thus keeping your heart rate and blood pressure at a normal pace.
It’s truly said that life is full of ups and downs! Most of us have struggled with financial strain at some point in our lives. But, the most important thing is how you are tackling this situation!
Because, no matter what, your attitude towards a situation makes a difference. So ultimately, you feel happy after getting rid of your financial anxiety. And the relaxation you get, is worth waiting for!