Money causes nearly everyone some financial stress. Whether you’re struggling to make it through the month, have a lot of student loan debt, are middle class (whatever that means to you), or have a lot of money invested in the stock market, you likely feel some sort of financial stress at some point. It seems like there’s not always enough for everything, and we all want to get ahead and save for future purchases, so even if we’re in control of our immediate situation, there are future costs looming in the months or years ahead.
Here are a few ways to reduce that financial stress so that you can focus on the other things in life:
Automate Your Finances
If the stress of having bills arrive in the mail every few days put extra pressure on you, consider automating your finances. Have your bills be paid straight from your credit card or bank account each month. You’ll spend the same amount either way, but you’ll be spending less time worrying when the bills come in and can devote that time to something productive.
You can also sign up for paperless billing. It’s much easier to organize and deal with an email reminder of a bill than a paper one that can get lost in the clutter. If the goal is to reduce how much you worry about your financial situation, these can be crucial. Out of sight, out of mind!
Create a Budget
If money is stressing you out, you should consider creating a budget and using a service like mint.com to find out where your money is going each month. This can lead to a lot of clarity, many people don’t realize that they are spending too much in one category and relatively small changes to spending patterns can have a major impact on the bottom line. Knowing where you’re starting from can be half the battle.
Once you know where the money is going, you’ll have one less unknown factor to be concerned about. Financial stress often stems from the fear of the unknown; not knowing if you’ll be able to pay all your bills at the end of the month or what your situation will be like in the future can be a major burden. Putting it all on paper can help take away some of that unknown so we can tackle the issues in a more specific way.
Earn More Money
Nothing takes the away financial stress quite like earning more money. If you’re bring in more money and don’t let lifestyle inflation creep in, you’ll have extra money to use to pay down debt, save for a rainy day, take a vacation, or anything else you’re planning..
It doesn’t have to be a full blown side job either, it can be as simple as earning an extra $100 per month to start. Once the ball starts rolling and you look for other opportunities to make money, more and more doors seem to open up.
Set Goals For Yourself
Setting goals has been proven to have a positive affect, whether you achieve them or not. By staying accountable and measuring your progress, you’ll feel more in control of your situation and will get the needed encouragement to keep making positive changes.
This year, I set some pretty steep goals and while I likely won’t achieve all of them, they’ve helped me concentrate on what’s important and let the other things slide. I’m not stressed out about everything, I am more focused on a few specific tasks and that’s let to relative success.
Don’t Let Financial Stress Get To You
Financial stress is not something that we can easily avoid, and if affects people from all walks of life. But we can definitely take action to reduce the severity and minimize how much time we spend worrying. Take action today and see how big of an impact these tips can have!