When it comes to financial stress, we all have different triggers and different ways of coping. Some of us obsess over our bank balances and spending, while others choose to bury our heads in the sand.
But whether you’re a worrier or a procrastinator, there are some financial stress dos and don’ts that everyone should follow.
DO: Talk about it
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your finances, the first step is to talk about it. This could mean having a difficult conversation with your partner or housemate about money, or seeking professional advice from a financial planner.
Bottling up your financial stress will only make it worse, so finding a way to release it is crucial.
DON’T: Let it affect your health
Your physical and mental health should always be your priority, no matter what’s going on in your financial life. If you’re struggling to cope with financial stress, it can quickly start to affect your wellbeing.
Make sure you’re taking time for yourself, exercise and eat well, and reach out for help if you’re feeling really struggling.
DO: Create a budget
If you’re not already tracking your spending, now is the time to start. Creating a budget will give you a clear picture of your incomings and outgoings, and help you to spot any areas where you could be saving money.
There are plenty of free budgeting apps and tools available, so there’s no excuse not to get started.
DON’T: Forget your long-term goals
When you’re feeling stressed about money, it’s easy to focus on the here and now and forget about your long-term financial goals. But if you want to get ahead financially, you need to keep your eye on the prize.
Try to create a budget that includes your savings goals, and make sure you’re still contributing to your retirement fund or other investments.
DO: Seek professional help
If you’re finding it difficult to cope with financial stress, it might be time to seek professional help. There are plenty of free and confidential services available, so don’t be afraid to reach out for support.
Counselling, debt advice and money coaching can all be really helpful in managing financial stress.
DON’T: Ignore your finances
If you’re struggling to deal with your finances, the worst thing you can do is ignore them. This will only make the problem worse, and leave you feeling even more stressed.
Take action to get your finances under control, even if it’s just baby steps to start with. The sooner you face up to your financial stress, the better.
Stress is a part of life, but financial stress can be especially overwhelming. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, it can feel like you’re constantly swimming against the tide. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to ease the burden and get back on solid ground.
Talk to someone. It can be difficult to ask for help, but it’s important to reach out to loved ones or a professional when you’re struggling. Talking about your stress can help you find solutions and feel less alone.
Make a budget. A budget can help you get a handle on your finances and make your spending more conscious. When you know where your money is going, it can be easier to make adjustments and cut back where necessary.
Stay positive. It’s easy to get caught up in negative thinking when you’re under financial stress. However, try to stay positive and focus on the things you’re grateful for. This can help you maintain perspective and stay motivated to make changes.
Ignore the problem. Pretending your financial problems don’t exist will only make them worse. Ignoring bills or avoiding calls from creditors will only make your stress worse in the long run.
Make impulsive decisions. It can be tempting to make rash decisions when you’re feeling desperate, but this can often make the situation worse. If you’re considering a major purchase, take the time to think it over and make sure it’s the right decision for you.
Isolate yourself. When you’re going through a tough time, it’s tempting to withdraw from your social life. However, isolating yourself can make you feel worse and make it harder to solve your problems. Try to stay connected to your loved ones and your community.
Coping with financial stress can be difficult, but it’s important to reach out for help when you need it. Talking to someone you trust, making a budget, and staying positive can all help you manage your stress and make positive changes.