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Coping With Financial Stress

Know what you can manage

Whether you're worrying about losing your job, rising costs, paying for college or paying bills, most people are at least somewhat concerned about the state of their finances. Stress affects everyone differently. A little bit of concern is one thing but constantly stressing out about your finances isn’t good for your mental or physical well being.

Stress can factor into alcohol and gambling abuse, sleeping problems, high blood pressure, anxiety, and other problems. Learning to cope with the stress and learning ways to deal with your finances effectively will help you lead a healthier life.

Start by making a budget and sticking to it. Make a plan to pay off any debt. At the same time, come up with a savings plan – even if it’s a few dollars a month. You will want to work towards having at least three months of your salary saved up in case of an emergency. If it helps you to stay on track, have savings goals and challenge yourself to stick to them. You may find once you have a clear budget in place you won’t be as stressed.

If you still find yourself worrying about finances, take time to mentally relax. This may be taking a long bath, chatting with a friend, doing a hobby you love, exercising, etc. The point is to try to relax so you aren’t so worked up about your finances.

Try to focus on what you can change. Don’t worry about things that might happen like losing your job, and instead focus on how much you can save for an emergency fund. Or if you need to pay off your credit card debt, work on paying off a small amount at a time and not incurring new debt. Having control over little aspects of your finances may help you breathe easier.

Try to gain perspective of the situation. It may seem like you are in a tough spot right now, but it will pass. Try not to overreact and instead try to think of proactive solutions to the problems at hand.

Quick Tip: Curb overspending – before you buy something ask yourself to come up with three good reasons why you need it. You may decide you didn't want it after all.