FINANCE

Tips for Managing Financial Stress in Tough Times

Financial stress is inevitable. You have bills to pay, debt to clear, and the occasional emergency expenditure to deal with. Even if you are in the strongest position in your workplace, job uncertainty is always in question, and the pandemic has taught all of us this lesson. 

The situation goes beyond control when you do not have a job. Although you can seek same day loans, this may not always be an option for you. Things take time to get normal, and you will have to cope with financial stress in the interim. You will have to do a lot of soul-searching to gain control over your situation. 

Ways for managing financial stress in tough times 

Here are some tips you should follow to tackle financial stress. 

Face the music 

Surveys have revealed that over 50% of people face financial problems as they are too afraid to look into their affairs. Part of them warns them that they have made a big mistake, but the fear of anxiety keeps them from knowing the true picture of their financial situation.

 Unless you know where you are and what exactly the problem is, you cannot determine what changes you need to make. 

The damage is done, so now you have to face the music. Make a list of all aspects causing you financial stress – whether credit card debt or you are embarrassed by an inefficient budget. Grab your financial statement to see your spending behaviour. 

For instance, if you have a high credit card debt, you should find out what kind of purchases you made. Then, figure out if you would be able to pay for those things if you paid cash. If not, it is understood that you overspent, resulting in falling into debt. 

If you did not take note of it, you would never understand the cause of running out of money. As a result, you will never be back in the driving seat. 

·  Pro tip: 

Identifying the problem is not enough, and you need to address it. For instance, your credit card debt will keep accruing if you do not pay it back instantly. Reach out to credit card providers and ask them if they can accept minimum payments. 

Consider applying for a 0% interest credit card. If your credit score is within the “fair” range, you have still an option to avail of this facility. If you have multiple debts, consider applying for consolidation loans. After paying off all debts in one go, you will only have this loan to repay in fixed monthly instalments. 

Create a budget 

Budgeting is vital, whether you believe it or not. Without having a functional budget, you will not have an idea of incomings and outgoings. 

It sounds boring and tedious work, and that is why many of you shirk it, but since your main goal is to manage financial stress, it is intrinsic. It will keep you on track. In other words, it can prevent you from taking a toll on your savings. 

·         Pro tip

Creating a budget does not need to be too boring. If you use a manual method, just record in an excel sheet the expenses you make every along with the bucks you paid and at the bottom, mention the total money you are left with. 

These items may include coffee, restaurant lunch, grocery, fares, mobile bills, and so on. This method works when you make all transactions in cash. If you pay online, note that amount immediately on the sheet. If you do not favour a manual method, use a budgeting app. 

This will link to your account and record automatically the transactions you have made. This works best when you set the spending limit, so this sends you a notification when you are closer to it. Set a realistic budget so you do not stop in the middle. 

Acknowledge your feelings 

Coping with your financial stress is not that easy. It takes time to rise to your feet once you have collapsed. You will probably not show patience to endure it, but acknowledging your feelings can keep yourself calm and cool. 

Before you get frustrated, remind yourself that you have created this complicated situation for yourself. Since you are responsible for it, you will have stew in your juice. Keep tracking your emotions so you know what you are feeling, and try to address your anxiety right away. 

·         Pro-tip; 

If you feel overwhelmed or stressed, you should take a break from it for some time. You can take the support of alcohol to soothe yourself, but you should go for a walk and write down your feelings in the journal instead. This is the best way to acknowledge what you are feeling at the moment. 

Be honest; write down what you are feeling. If managing all this stuff is taking a toll on your mental health, you are absolutely free to take a break from it, but your spending behaviour will be the same. Just spend money on essential things so you do not find yourself in a worse situation when rejoining your budgeting plan. 

Ask for help 

Do not fight shy of asking for help when you need it. Consult a financial planner who can help fix your financial condition. 

However, you will have to be genuine while explaining your scenario. This point is often emphasised as they will likely be able to suggest you better ways when you tell them your true condition. 

·         Pro tip:

Have all documents ready that your financial planner may need to look at. You should take the initiative to express your opinions as well. 

The bottom line

Coping with financial stress is undoubtedly complicated, but you can do it if you make an effective strategy. The tips mentioned above can help overcome your financial difficulties, but you need to remember that you do not repeat those mistakes down the line. Otherwise, there is no point in working on it.

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