Tips for Reducing Financial Stress

tips for reducing financial stress

If we are honest with ourselves sometimes our financial stress is caused by our expectations not being met. We want things to go one way with our finances and they go the other. Below are some tips for reducing financial stress in your life.

Losing a job, the inability to find full-time work, paying bills on time, and not being able to deal with the increasing costs of living can be disappointing.

When this happens, when our financial reality does not line up with our expectations, we can sometimes become stressed. Try the following tips to help you reduce your financial stress.

Set SMART Financial Goals to Reduce Financial Stress

Goals provide course of action. And financial goals provide direction for your financial matters. They should determine how you spend your time and your money. When setting goals, decide what you want, where you want to be, and what you want your money to do. Further, when you set goals, set goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and have a time constraint).

The best goals are the ones that cause you to “stretch” as you do your best to reach them.

Make Your Time and Money a Priority

Use the “80-20 Rule” originated by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. The 80-20 rule says that “80 percent of the reward comes from 20 percent of the effort.” The key to prioritizing is to identify the valuable 20 percent.

Once identified, prioritize your time to work on the items with the greatest reward. If you value managing money well, prioritize the time it takes to manage it well. Knowing where you stand with your finances will help you reduce feelings of stress.

Take Some of the Stress Off and Be Flexible wIth Your Spending

According to Peter Drucker, a management consultant, author, educator, and the described father of modern management, “Doing the right thing is more important than doing things right.” Doing the right thing is effectiveness; doing things right is efficiency.

Be flexible when working on your money, focus first on the urgent, effective task, then concentrate on the important, efficient task.

Reduce Financial Stress by Planning To Spend Your Money

Using time to think and plan is using time wisely. Some would say that if you fail to take time for planning, you are, in effect, planning to fail. Additionally, be consistent with that time. If Monday after work is your money management time, then work your money Mondays after work.

As I have written before, managing money is a job, it takes time, so plan accordingly.

The tips for reducing financial stress above can help you reduce money stress in your life. Be careful with stress as it can cause mental, emotional, and physical health issues. How do you manage financial stress? I would love to hear from you.

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When Finances Become a Source of Stress

When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your positive qualities and gifts. This simple strategy of gratefulness can help you keep things in perspective.

Most of us have financial obligations or expenses that we must take care of.  Some of those include rent or a mortgage, maybe a car payment, credit card payments, and other needs such as clothing, and recreation.  Sometimes these obligations can become stressful and this stress can lead to anxiety, depression, and other physical and behavioral problems.  It’s important to take care of financial stress before it takes a toll on you and your family.

What Causes Financial Stress

Certain situations and circumstances can shake up finances and can lead to a major change in our finances and thus financial stress. 

For example, finances may be affected by a job loss or maybe a bad year of sales if you work on a commission.  Other major changes include a new baby, separation, divorce, or the death of a family member. 

However, financial stress can affect a family at any time and therefore, you must be able to recognize and manage it. 

Learn to Recognize

How do you recognize financial stress?  You have to learn the signs and signals. Your true sources of stress are not always obvious, and it’s all too easy to overlook your stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. 

For example, you may know that you’re constantly worried about being able to pay bills on time.  However, maybe it’s your lack of organization, rather than not having the money to pay the bills when they are due, that leads to stress.  Hence the importance to sit down and work with your money and bills consistently.   

Some signs of financial stress include: 

•Frequent worry or arguments about money

•Spending more than you make and using credit cards to make everyday purchases

•Only making minimum payments or making payments late

•Feeling overwhelmed by debt

If you are experiencing any of these, it could mean that you are experiencing financial stress and it is time to start managing that stress. 

Manage Financial Stress

Managing financial stress begins with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn’t as easy as it sounds.  

The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for family and work, relationships, relaxation, and fun – plus the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head-on. 

Talk about the situation and explain to family and children how things may and how they can help turn things around.  Keep up routines and keep life as normal as possible.  So, as a family, eat together and do other things together whenever possible.  Focus on the positive and know that your situation is temporary, and you can make it better. 

When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your positive qualities and gifts. This simple strategy of greatfulness can help you keep things in perspective.

 Keep in mind that your children learn how to cope with stress by watching you. 

Create a household spending plan or budget.  This is the first step toward making it better and regaining control of your finances.  Track your expenses and know where every dollar is going.  In tracking expenses, you will begin to see ways to reduce expenses and save money.      

If your financial situation is stressing you out, recognize the causes of stress and begin to manage that stress.  Take charge of your finances and take charge of the stress. 

Tips to help you Reduce Financial Stress

According to Peter Drucker, a management consultant, author, educator, and the described founder of modern management, “Doing the right thing is more important than doing things right.” Doing the right thing is effectiveness; doing things right is efficiency. 

Sometimes stress is caused by expectations not met.  We think things should go one way with our finances and they go the other.  When this happens, when financial reality does not line up with our expectations, we sometimes become disappointed, and stress results.  Use the following tips to help you avoid money stress and lower financial stressors. 

Plan to Spend your Money

Using time to think and plan is using time wisely.  In fact, if you fail to take time for planning, you are, in effect, planning to fail.

As I have written before, managing money is a job, and it takes time, so plan accordingly.

Set Financial Goals

Financial goals should provide direction to your life and determine how you spend your time and money.  When setting goals, decide what you want, where you want to be, and what you want your money to do.  Further, when you set goals, set goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and have a time constraint.)   

The best goals are those that cause you to “stretch” as you do your best to reach them. 

Prioritize

Use the “80-20 Rule” originated by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto.  The 80-20 rule says that “80 percent of the reward comes from 20 percent of the effort.” The key to prioritizing is to identify the valuable 20 percent. 

Once identified, prioritize your time to work on those items with the greatest reward.  If you value managing money better, prioritize the time it takes to manage it better.   

Be Flexible

According to Peter Drucker, a management consultant, author, educator, and the described founder of modern management, “Doing the right thing is more important than doing things right.” Doing the right thing is effectiveness; doing things right is efficiency. 

Be flexible when working your money, focus first on the urgent, effective task, then concentrate on the important, efficient task.

The tips above can help you eliminate or reduce money stress in your life.  Be careful with stress it can cause mental, emotional, and physical health issues. How do you reduce financial stress?  I would love to hear from you.