Amidst the global pandemic we are facing today, finances have become a matter of concern for most people. While it is bound to happen, considering the uncertainties of today’s economy, worrying about money still does not take you anywhere.
You can experience financial stress due to multiple reasons – losing a job, being in debt, not earning enough, or bearing the expense of family. The best way to reduce financial worry is by focusing on other important areas of your life. You can also think up a backup plan ahead of time, which will help you enjoy peace of mind.
Here are three very effective ways that will help you reduce financial stress!
● Evaluate Your Situation
Do you wonder where all your money goes each month? If you do not have the habit of maintaining an expenditure list, you will end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Here’s what you need to do:
1) Make a list of your basic expenses – housing, utilities, phone bills, car payments, and such. Also, assess the amount you spend on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis. If you live with family, track the spending habits of all members to get a better sense of overall expenditure.
2) Create a budget. Look at all your sources of regular and consistent income, evaluate your spending, and cut down expenses wherever you can. If you are just ‘breaking even’ with no savings at all, try to find a way to save some amount of money each month.
3) Know the difference between luxury and necessity. For example, if you prefer to buy lunch instead of cooking it yourself, it is not a necessity – rather a spending choice. By being more pro-active in reducing unnecessary expenses, you can maintain your budget easily.
● Set Realistic Goals
It is easier said than done. However, if you want your financial situation to not get out of hand, come up with manageable goals.
1) Increase your savings. You may say you are already saving money every month, then why increase it? It is because doing this will help you immensely in the long term. Create a savings account or set up a direct deposit with your employer for a stress-free solution.
2) Reduce Your Debts. If you have student loans or other monthly debts to pay, try talking to your credit card company or the bank regarding your recent hardships (a loss in income or a job loss). Try to negotiate lower rates or reduced monthly payments.
3) Make everyday choices that prevent you from spending unnecessarily. Switch your leisurely activities with options that do not need you to spend a lot of money.
● Find Support
Look for people around you whom you can go to for financial advice. However, avoid asking for money directly, as it may cause a rift between relationships.
1) Rely on family and friends. Trusted allies with financial wisdom can guide you and help you make wise decisions during such times. Talk to them openly about your feelings and problems and see what they recommend to make your situation more manageable.
2) Try credit or debt counseling. If you need to consolidate your payments, refinance your loans, or reduce your debts, a certified credit counselor can help you. Go to sources like the National Foundation for Credit Counseling: https://www.nfcc.org/ and the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA): http://fcaa.org/ for assistance.
Know that ultimately you are in charge of controlling your stress. A great way to go about it is by taking care of yourself. Take five minutes every day to maintain a journal and write down things you are grateful for. You can also adopt an active lifestyle and exercise more to keep your stress levels in check. If you have impulsive coping habits — such as overspending, smoking, or drinking — try to restrain yourself by engaging in other activities.
For any legal help regarding your financial situation, book a free consultation with attorneys at Brian Walker Law Firm, P.C. Feel free to reach out to us at 360-695-8886.