Tips to manage finacial stress

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In previous years financial worries top the list of stress inducers for Canadians, more than personal health, work and relationships.  In the economic wake of Covid-19 and its ongoing uncertainty, this situation is unlikely to change.  This unresolved stress is demonstrated not only in our emotional outlook and control, but physically through headaches, sleeplessness, and depression.  That is why it is more important than ever to find the best tools possible to manage the stress and the financial issues we encounter.

Here are 5 tips to help you manage financial stress.

Budget

Even if you have a workable budget, it wouldn’t hurt to take another look at it from the perspective of what else could be cut if necessary.  If you don’t have a budget, it is imperative that you develop one.  Start by writing down all your regular expenses.  Begin with annual amounts like taxes, then look at monthly spendings like rent or mortgages and loans.  Next, go to weekly costs like groceries and gasoline.  Finally, look at the small items like that morning latte or vending machine chips or the occasional beer with buddies.  By taking even small steps, you can create good habits to be able to control your spending and help control the stress.

Practice Gratitude

Even if you don’t consider yourself spiritual or religious, there is no reason you can smile, say thank you, and wish someone a good rest of the day.  When you do these small things, and really mean them, you will help release some stress and create positive affirmations about yourself and life.  Focus on the successes and it should help to keep you motivated and better able to accomplish goals.

Emergency Fund

Just having an amount stashed away as a buffer if necessary will help to reduce some worry.  If there is extra at the end of the month, transfer it into a special account.  At the end of each day or week, throw all your loose change into a container and see how much you have at the end of the month.  Increase your savings each month until you feel you have enough of a cushion.

Treat Yourself with Respect

Go easy on yourself.  Continually beating yourself up won’t help and it will only contribute to remaining overwhelmed.  You are not the only person struggling with finances and emotions.

Seek Counseling

In Canada, we can benefit by working with a licensed insolvency trustee.  This is a federally legislated program to help individuals reduce debt through a repayment plan or debt forgiveness.  These trustees can also help develop a budget and provide other solutions to help with excessive debt.  They can help you discover patterns in your spending that can be modified and to help with resolution and repayment options.

Stress will leave a negative impact on you, your family, relationships, and work associates.  Mental health is a sincere concern during these trying times as well as during “ordinary” years.  As complicated as your financial situation may appear, having an independent third party available to review your circumstances and to provide some alternatives is invaluable.  This is not something you should ignore.

 

Dana MacRae Licensed Insolvency Trustee has been helping people manage their debt since 2000. With 10 offices across Southwestern Ontario, it’s easy to schedule an appointment. Just go to www.danatrustee.ca and book your appointment online. We offer video conferencing, or book a home consultation and have the trustee come to you (when allowed by COVID-19 protocols). Contact us today at 1.800.665.9965 or [email protected] to learn more about our services and find the financial solution that’s right for you.