Are you overwhelmed with financial worries? Don’t dwell in that negative emotion. Instead, take a deep breath and apply these guidelines on coping with financial stress. When you follow these guidelines, you should feel less stressed and have a better perspective on how to deal with your financial situation.
1. Talk Things Through
Talk to the family about your financial worries. This is an opportunity to air out all your worries and brainstorm solutions. If you live alone, talk to a friend to get some advise or at least to receive emotional support.
Putting your worries out in the open can help you ease the mental and emotional burden. The emotional support you get from your family members and friends can also help you gain more confidence in facing your circumstances and changing it. More importantly, you gain a different perspective about the situation which will help you gain more clarity in coping with your financial stress.
2. Track Your Finances
Now that you have gained some different perspectives from other people regarding your financial worries, the next step is to crunch some numbers. Take pen and paper and take inventory of your finances.
Keep track of all your spending. Write down your basic expenses and identify what expenses you can eliminate. Try to track your daily spending as well so you can better identify your spending patterns and triggers. This way, you are more aware of how to avoid your temptations so you eliminate impulse spending.
List all your debts. From the biggest to the smallest, try to identify everyone that owe money to and how much. This should strengthen your motivation to keep your spending to the basic minimum as you are coping with financial stress.
Identify your sources of income. Now that you have a clearer perspective of your spending habits and what you truly need to spend on, it’s time to count what money you will actually have. List your sources of income and how much you earn from each. If some do not have a fixed amount, then write down your minimum expected amount. Finally, add up everything and compare your total income with your total basic expenses.
3. Plan Your Budget
Whether your income is bigger than your spending total or the other way around, setting financial goals is important. You need to make a plan for where your money will go so you can start changing your situation.
Make a budget based on your basic living expenses. Use the money jar budget system as a guide but customize the names and amounts according to your requirements. Food in your budget is one of the easiest item to lessen spending on. Make sure you stick to your budget so you can get closer to your goal of being in a better place financially.
Increase your income. Your next plan is to identify opportunities on how you can raise your income. Maybe you can increase your earnings from a current source of income or maybe you have another skill or talent from which you can earn additional income.
Keep monitoring your finances. Don’t let your planning go to waste by forgetting it some days. Be consistent in tracking your spending and making sure that you stay within budget. At the same time, work hard to increase your income and keep adjusting your budget as your income increases. Don’t increase your spending and prioritize savings and paying off debts first.
4. Stay Positive
Finally, keep a positive attitude as you make small progress daily. As long as you are consistent in making small changes, you will definitely achieve your long-term goal of getting to a place where you are financially comfortable.
To help you cope with your finances better, try to improve your financial literacy. Understanding how money works in business will also help you tweak your own personal financial strategies and goals. Read books that inspire you to take care of your finances better and to keep working on your dreams.
In the meantime, don’t beat yourself up if you make mistakes. Just do the right thing the next day. Try to do fun things that don’t cost much or cost none at all so you can keep up the positive vibes.