March 24, 2021

9 Top Tips for Dealing with Financial Stress Effectively

by Funmi

You've probably heard some tips for dealing with financial stress but I will love to address this from the angle of things we can control and not external factors that we cant do so much about, for example, Covid and the lockdown situation around the world. 

You will be surprised to know that  Every Single month 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Another report by the American Psychological Association found that 60% of Americans feel stressed about money. I won’t be surprised if the figures are higher for other countries. 

I’m going to share 9 ways you can effectively deal with financial stress. 

More often than not, you know what financial stress is when it sneaks up on you, and if you've ever experienced any form of stress when it comes to your money, you most definitely know what it feels like. 

Symptoms of Financial Stress

But a sure way of figuring out if you are going through financial stress is by identifying its symptoms. Here's what to look for:

  • anxiety
  • Worry
  • Depression
  • Poor coping habits 
  • Gaining/losing weight
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Physical and health issues

If you want to measure how financial stress affects your life, you want to consider three key areas - > your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.

  • Thoughts — when you are experiencing financial stress, it can create persistent negative thoughts, like beating yourself up over past mistakes.
  • Feelings —  Next is 
  • Behaviours —  because your thought is already affected by the financial stress and then emotionally, you feel helplessness or hopelessness, Financial stress, can cause behavioural changes, like avoiding social occasions.

Stress can come in different levels. Let's consider these statements as examples :

  • "How are we paying for our trip to the Bahamas this year?"
  • "We can't go to our favourite Italian restaurant, but we can buy ready-made Italian pizza from Tesco or Asda."
  • "We can pay the gas OR  electric bill, but we can't pay both. Remember that the bank said we'd forfeit our car by the 15th of the month if we don't make a payment. 

Some people are lucky to have never been in the last situation, but many people aren't that lucky. These difficult times are highly stressful.

It's not all doom and gloom. The good news is that it is possible to get out of a financial crisis! To do that, however, requires a cool head and a plan.

To reduce your financial stress and see brighter days ahead, you can try these steps:

1. Get Clear on the actual Reality. 

It's a good idea to have an accurate picture of your situation as it is very easy to get yourself worked up and upset more than it’s necessary. Ensure that you have a clear representation of what's going on.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

So consider, 

  • How much debt do you have?
  • How much money are you making?
  • What resources are available to you?
  • What are your bills?

2. Focus on the Way Forward. 

Most of us quickly opt for comfort, the seeming 'safe' zone. The Reality is nothing changes or happens in your comfort zone, it is what it is, your comfort space, and it makes you have a feeling like you are escaping your situation and you and I know that’s a fake reality, it’s unreal it's a distraction in itself.

If you must get out of financial rut and stress, you want to commit yourself to find solutions. Spend the majority of your time looking for, and working on, solutions.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

SO spend your most productive hours looking for the way forward or a solution and then retire at the end of the day to your comfortable space to give yourself a good night rest reassuring yourself that ‘tomorrow will be a good day’. This quote has become one of my favourites, and it’s by the legendary late sir tom Moore. 

tips for dealing with financial stress

3. Cut Out unnecessary expenses. 

Many of us commit ourselves to some expenses that provide little to no value, and those areas are an excellent place to take care of or get rid off. Check For example 

  • Magazine subscriptions you don't really use
  • gym membership you never use
  • High phone plans you typically don't need. 
WHAT YOU CAN DO:

I know this might be difficult as we have an attachment to sentimental things, but when you are trying to manage your financial stress, Get rid of all expenses you don't genuinely need.

Your expenditure should be on the essentials like your housing, utilities, food, medicine, and insurance. Everything else is optional.

4. Reevaluate your influence: 

This is when you need to determine what you can and cannot influence. Most of us put ourselves under pressure and worry about things we can't control.

There's very little you can control, although little they are significant from a bird's eye view, can you remember? Did I mention them earlier? Yeah! Your thoughts, emotions and behaviour. Every other thing is out of your hands, really.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Concentrate on what you can influence and avoid worrying about what you can't. 

5. Become Accountable. 

When you are going through difficult financial stress, you've got to be honest with yourself and figure out all your expenditures. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Determine how every penny is being spent so you can trace where your money leaks are coming from. Track everything to the T.

6. Up Your Game

You've probably heard of the streams of income concept, and if you have not, well, here's it, it's suggested that you should have 7 streams of income. 

  • Royalty Income
  • Earned Income
  • Profit Income
  • Dividend Income
  • Interest Income
  • Capital Gains Income
  • Rental Income

Now many of these aren't available to everyone. You will need to have some money to benefit from some of this stream, but the idea I'm getting at is that you need to Work on a plan to boost your income.

If there's enough money, your financial stress will be non-existent. There are many ways to make more money. The number one secret is to give Value first, and the rest will follow. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

You can consider a second job (a better paying one) or a side hustle. My favourite option is to start an online business- it's the future, and if you want to thrive, you've got to adapt to the changes around you. 

7. Make a Budget and stick to it. 

When you are going through financial stress, it's very tempting to look away from your money troubles to cope. However, there's a possibility that you will feel better if you face your financial challenges head-on by taking small but meaningful steps in the right direction. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

An intriguing trick that could help is setting a personal budget for yourself. Plan where your money is going before you spend it. When you make a spending plan and stick to it, you aren't just doing so for the sake of saving money but to boost your emotional health as well. 

8. Find ways to relax. 

One way to reduce stress is to either remove the source of the stress or to relax. Give yourself a break during the day by Planning relaxation time into your schedule daily. Prolonged stress puts you at risk of falling sick. Too much stress reduces your ability to function optimally.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Explore various relaxation methods to find out what works best for you. Some healthy options include taking a warm bath, engaging in a hobby that pleases you, listening to your favourite music, playing with your kids or pets, going for a walk, or hiking on a nature trail.

When you are going through financial stress, you will struggle with one significant fact you can't ignore: REST - rest for your body and mind. You win first in your mind  and then take actions to bring that victory in your mind into reality

9. It is okay to ask for help when it's needed 

Financial stress can be overwhelming, and it is one of the leading cause of suicide, divorce, and many health issues. Ensure you make a plan, work on accurate information, boost your income and scale back. Always remember that it is okay to ask for help. 

Final Thought

Financial stress can be challenging, but there's still a way out. You can get out of it and enjoy the life you deserve applying the tips for dealing with financial stress above and remember the clean up starts from things in your control. 

About the author

Funmi

Funmi is Functional Health Coach. She is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs transform from Stress and burnout so they can begin to thrive in their body and by extension their businesses.

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