According to a research report on employee financial stress trends released last year by Financial Finesse, more than 83% of all employees had money issues leading to financial stress. This report highlights how many people today face/experience economic anxiety and stress, most of which could be avoided with proper planning. Do you experience financial stress too? There are numerous ways to get your financial control back, at least before it gets out of hand. Here are a few tips from Loanza to get you started.
Steps to Deal With Financial Stress And Anxiety
Focus on Healthy Living to Deal with The Situation
Taking proper care of your health and wellbeing first gives you a better chance to handle/tackle a financial situation as soon as it arises. Take a step back to look at how you dealt with a similar problem in the first. If an unhealthy behavior took you deeper into debt and financial stress, you might want to try the total wellness and healthy approach. This can be anything from eating healthy, leading an active lifestyle, exercising, and getting out there to meet and talk to real people. Even the simplest habits, such as yoga, meditation, and prayer, can help you handle any stressor. You could also try more intense exercises, including mixed martial arts, kickboxing, aerobics, and swimming as a way to limit impulse buying/spending, hence more money to save or settle bills.
Talk It Out
Speaking your heart out (to someone you can trust) is one of the best ways to handle/manage stress. It doesn’t matter what you are going through; talking it out will help relieve the pressure and help you find/get help. While it might be challenging to open up to a stranger about your financial issues, it is sometimes the best route to take. The person you choose to talk to, however, needs to be trustworthy and understanding. Financial planners, counselors, therapists, and mental health specialists are some of the best persons to talk to and the best to advise you on how to handle similar situations. You might also want to talk to an Employee Assistance Program official at work for help with your financial issues.
Find Hope (Something to Hold on to)
While it might be almost impossible to create hope when all else has failed, having something to hold on to (even if it means fake optimism) can help keep you motivated, hence be able to climb out of the ‘financial sinkhole.’ You might have come across the saying, ‘fake it ’till you make it.’ This is the same principle here. Start by feasting your eyes on the positives in your life. Create a gratitude list of achievements you’ve made so far, and work hard to make the list longer.
Identify the Problem
Make a list of factors that might be the source of the problem. Is your current financial crisis related to an unpaid student loan, mortgage, tax returns, or bills that have been unpaid for some time? Is it an emergency you hadn’t planned for? Take time to identify and write down all money stressors, then make a plan or priority list of what to do next. You can also classify the stressors based on urgency and how they can affect your life in the long run.
Create A Financial Plan
With a financial plan in place, you can start taking charge of your life and finances. According to research, most people recognize the importance of having a financial plan but are too lazy or adamant about creating even a basic one. These are the same people that end up deep into debt. It, however, isn’t too late to start. All you need to do is create a list of things that matter and another outlining step to make it happen. Be sure to prioritize everything based on urgency and need.
Create A Personal Spending Plan
Very few people have a budget to govern their spending. The risk of sliding into debt and financial stress is, however, higher when you don’t have a budget, another reason you need to create one. If the thought of budgeting sends chills down your spine, you can then choose the next best route, create a personal spending plan. The plan will help you keep track of your expenses and limit how much you spend on something. The spending plan will help you balance your expenditure and be a source of relief. This is because you can use the plan to see where your money goes and if you need to reduce or increase your spending based on debts at hand.
Formulate A Debt Reduction Plan
If debts are your source of financial stress, formulating a plan to pay or reduce them can help relieve the pressure. There are several proven ways to approach this – you could start by creating a personal spending plan, budget your money, or limit your spending to free up money to settle the debts. The first step to formulating a debt reduction/repayment plan is knowing exactly how much is owed. A debt inventory can help you see where you stand. Depending on how much is owed, you can formulate a framework to attack the debts head-on, consider going for credit counseling, or file for bankruptcy if all else fails.