Here are 5 tips to help you manage financial stress.
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.
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.
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.
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.