Getting Rid of Financial Stress Once and For All
Money can’t buy happiness but it can make us unhappy and stressed especially when there’s a significant shortage. Sure, money can be a source of great joy- just think of all the things we can do when we’re financially secure, but on the other hand, it can definitely be a source of great pressure and strain when tough times come. From paying off debt to saving for retirement, there’s no shortage of financial challenges that can keep us up at night. It’s not always easy to manage financial burden and most of us have experienced this at one point or another. While it’s easy to say that money is not a big deal, we can’t ignore the challenges that come with not having enough in the bank to keep us sustained.
There really isn’t a fundamental guide we can all follow in regards to saving and managing finances because each person’s situation is different, however, managing the stress that comes with financial management is something that is within our control.
Understanding the Root Causes of Financial Stress
Financial stress is a sneaky little devil that silently kills happiness and productivity. The root causes of this anxiety-inducing monster are often always on the back of our minds, slowly driving us insane and distracting us from living a life at present. The first and most common cause of financial stress is debt. Whether it’s student loans, credit cards, or personal loans, debt pressures us into unfulfilling jobs, exhausting days, and dull lives. It can feel like a never-ending cycle of payments that just pile on top of each other every month, and the interest rates can make us feel like we’re drowning in a sea of despair.
Job loss or instability is also a major source of financial stress. Losing our jobs or not having a stable source of income can be a massive hit to our finances and our mental health. The fear of not being able to pay bills or afford basic necessities can be pretty much overwhelming, especially when we feel like we’re backed into a corner with nowhere to go. Another seed of financial stress would be a lack of savings. When we don’t have some sort of safety net in case of emergencies or unexpected expenses, it leaves us feeling vulnerable and stressed. This leads to the pressure of working more simply to save up and be comfortable living our lives. Of course, it never comes easy- nothing ever does, but with hard work and determination, saving up will just be a matter of time.
Overspending is also a subtle culprit that slowly drains the bank without us even realizing it. Those little purchases here and there can quickly add up, leaving us with a sense of guilt, anxiety, and a lot of worthless things from the department store! These are some financial stressors that keep us up at night and prevent us from becoming completely happy. So, what can we do about these? The key to getting rid of these financial stressors lies in taking action and making changes to our mindset and lifestyle.
Symptoms of Financial Stress and Anxiety
We’ve all been there-tossing and turning in bed, wondering how we’re going to pay the bills or make ends meet. Financial stress and anxiety can be a real doozy, and the symptoms can be just as frustrating.
1. Difficulty Sleeping
The first sign of financial stress is difficulty sleeping. It’s no surprise that financial stress can keep us up at night, thinking about bills and expenses and honestly, no amount of counting sheeps can make the bills go away on their own, as much as we want them to. However, the best thing we can do for ourselves at night would be to sleep and worry about the bills tomorrow, and even if they’re still there on our countertops, waiting for us to peruse through in the morning, at least we were able to sleep and rest so we’ll be ready to face reality again.
2. Loss of Appetite
Another symptom of financial stress would be loss of appetite. When we’re stressed about money, even the thought of food can make us feel nauseous, not to mention the temptation to turn to junk food especially when we’re tired and not really up to cooking or doing anything, really.
Irritability is also a common symptom when we’re worried about money. The smallest things can set us off and push us to arguments that we never really wanted in the first place. It’s like having a short fuse that’s ready to ignite at any moment.
Another sneaky symptom of financial stress would be procrastinating. When we’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to put off paying bills or dealing with financial documents. This can quickly snowball into bigger problems further down the road and add more to our stress.
5. Lack of motivation
When we’re stressed about money, it’s easy to feel like there’s no point in trying. Why bother working hard or trying to save when it feels like we’re just treading water? Well, the answer is pretty simple: we need to keep moving, living, and breathing. Since we cannot quit those things, we have to power through our unmotivated moments and tell ourselves that it’s not always going to be like this- we’re going to get through this somehow.
Dealing with Financial Stress
Financial stress is the kind of stress that can make us feel like we’re in a constant state of panic. When it keeps us up at night, it’s time to tell ourselves that we’re the boss of our own lives and that we are in control of the way we deal with these.
1. Face the music
Ignoring our finances will only make things worse. Instead of running away from our debts, we can take a deep breath, gather our financial documents, and face our finances head-on. It can be a scary step but it’s an important one for our growth and peace of mind.
2. Manage our emotions
Financial stress can make us feel like we’re on an emotional rollercoaster, but it’s important to find ways to manage those emotions. Whether it’s through meditation, exercise, or talking to a friend, managing emotions is a good way to keep a level head and avoid impulsiveness.
3. Setting goals
By setting goals, we can give ourselves something to work towards and a sense of direction as well. This can make the stress feel more manageable and less overwhelming. It’s all about putting our minds on the important things and looking forward to our future.
4. Creating a budget
When we create our budget, we get a clear picture of our finances and where we need to make changes. As an added bonus, sticking to a budget can give us a sense of control and help us make progress toward our goals.
5. Seeking help
Financial advisors and counselors can provide valuable insights and guidance on how we can manage our finances and reduce stress. And honestly? It’s nice to have someone else take the reins for a bit.
6. Treat ourselves with care and compassion
Dealing with financial stress can be tough so it’s important to be kind to ourselves and find ways to treat ourselves to boost our mood, all within reason, of course! Whether it’s a nice dinner out or a new book, we can always find ways to indulge ourselves without breaking the bank!
Reducing Expenses Without Sacrificing the Quality of Life
Is it possible to reduce our expenses without feeling like we’re sacrificing the things we love? Well, the answer is yes, definitely! We simply have to put on our thinking caps and get creative! To begin with, we have to get real with ourselves. We have to take a look at our expenses and ask ourselves-what do we really need? Maybe it’s time to cut back on some things that aren’t essential. Do we really need that monthly subscription to a magazine we never really read? Do we need all those streaming services? Probably not. As long as we keep in mind the essential things, we can never drown in our expenses.
We also have to get creative. There are so many ways to save money without feeling like we’re sacrificing anything. Maybe it’s carpooling with a friend or finding free events in our communities. As long as we’re resourceful, we can find ways to have fun and save at the same time. Cooking at home more often is something we can do creatively- not only is it healthier, but it’s also much much cheaper. There’s always something satisfying about cooking a delicious meal at home and the pride that comes from knowing that we did these things by ourselves without breaking the bank.
We can also find affordable alternatives. Just because something is expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. Maybe there’s a cheaper brand of our favorite product that’s just as good, or maybe it’s time to switch to a more affordable service provider. We can always do research and find ways to save without relinquishing the things that make our life better.
Lastly, we can always cut back on impulse purchases. We’ve all been there-we’re at the store and we see something shiny and new that we just have to have. But before we buy these things, we have to ask ourselves- do we really need this? Will it bring me long-term happiness? If the answer is yes, then go ahead, but we also have to remember that as long as we’re in the department store and we see something we like, we’ll always have the tendency to justify the things we buy even if in reality, we don’t really need it!
Getting rid of financial stress requires a holistic approach that addresses the root causes and symptoms of anxiety. We can always take control of our finances and money doesn’t have to be a burden that keeps us up at night and prevents us from being happy. Sometimes, all it takes is a shift in mindset where we tell ourselves, “I’ve got this, I’ll get through it somehow”, and we can keep going and keep digging for solutions to our financial problems. We have to remember that it’s not always going to be this way, but sometimes, it has to be- it’s the way the world works, after all. As long as we remember that we’re the captain of our own bank accounts, we can live a more stress-free life and enjoy the benefits of financial stability and security later on.
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I write because this world is too complex and challenging to be experienced in one lifetime. We all wish for healing from unspoken wounds, pains, and scars, a reprieve from unrelenting storms, and peace and calm after everything we’ve been through. Life doesn’t stop for anyone, but I hope my words can bring you comfort when you need it most. If there’s something I know, it’s that everything will be okay again- we will be okay.