Hey, we know how easy it is to stress out about money. Even if you feel like you’re in a good place financially, it seems like there’s always someone else out there who’s more ahead of the game than you are. With finances causing such strife in both relationships and personal mental health, we thought we’d pull together 10 tips to help you feel a bit less stressed about your financial situation.
If you’re looking for excuses to be totally irresponsible with your personal finances without a second thought, that’s not what this list is about. We don’t believe that sticking your head in the sand and pretending that everything is alright even when your personal finances are going up in smoke is a good idea. Now that we’ve got that out of the way…
List the Positive
Whether it’s the roof over your head or the food in your belly, there are bound to be some good aspects of your financial situation. Starting out by listing the positive parts of your life that are related to your finances helps you remember that it’s not all bad. When you’re feeling a little overwhelmed come back to this list.
Pay Off One Thing
The debt snowball method that some financial gurus tout can actually have a huge impact on your stress. Start small and pay off one thing. The psychological benefit can be huge and can set you up for major successes. Sometimes, all you need to do to feel less stressed out about money is to just prove to yourself how capable you are.
Ask For Help
Even if it’s just financial tips from a money-savvy friend. Getting help, advice or input from others can make you realize that your money-related goals are actually achievable.
Put a Few Dollars Away
We mean that quite literally, put $5 into a savings account today. It’s a great start. We can get so caught up in these equations that tell us how much we need to have in an emergency fund (6 months worth of income! $50,000 liquid! Enough to cover job hunting for a year!) that we forget that we all had to start somewhere. And $5 is more than $0.
Not only are you running into ads for things you don’t need, you’re also falling into comparison traps. It’s so incredibly easy to let social media feel like you don’t have enough (go out and spend!) or that you’re not financially stable enough (look at us retiring at 35!). Try to learn to recognize these feelings as they creep in and make a conscious decision to choose to disconnect and log off.
Think About Worst-Case Scenarios
This may not help everyone, but some people are simply afraid of the unknown. Say you do lose your job. What are the concrete steps you’d take to move forward? While it might include some tough decisions, it can also be comforting as you remember that you may not be going it alone (think of your support network).
Get Your Partner’s Buy-In
If you’re struggling with joint finances, it’s time to make sure you and your partner are 110% on the same page about spending and saving. Bring it up before it turns into a fight. Talk about expectations. Expect some hiccups along the way. As long as you feel like you’re both taking your joint financial situation seriously, you’ll often start to feel less and less anxious.
Don’t become a hermit when you run into money troubles. Get proactive about having fun for free. This step is vital for avoiding that FOMO (do people still say FOMO?) that can cause you to go out and spend. Constant and extreme deprivation isn’t generally a long-term or permanent solution to financial woes.
Kick Shame to the Curb
Not only is there no reason to feel ashamed about financial hardships, excessive shame isn’t going to help you solve anything. We started this list out by making sure you’re taking your finances seriously, but shame is often a less-than-useful emotion that stems from somewhere unhealthy.