Do you stress out about money a lot? Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, more than 72% of Americans reported feeling stressed about money each month.
Stress, in general, can lead to a lot of negative mental and physical ailments. Plus, it’s just not fun to be worried about money all the time. So what can you do though when you’re feeling a little nervous about your upcoming bills, income, or other financial responsibilities. It’s not always an easy process, but you can stop stressing about money. Here’s how to do it.
Tame Your Spending With a Solid Budget
The findings from APA’s recent survey align with another survey conducted by Intuit. Last year, Intuit found that around 65% of Americans have no idea what they spent last month.
I know budgeting can seem like a hassle, but it often has the opposite effect. By planning your spending and tracking what you spent, you’ll have more control over your finances. This can help you stop stressing about money.
If you haven’t already, sit down and create a budget detailing your income and monthly expenses. Don’t be hard on yourself if you get something wrong or forget to budget for an expense. Over time, you’ll get better at budgeting and settle into a system that truly works best for you.
Having a budget can help you plan for the future while also enjoying the present. If you want to do something fun with friends or go on a vacation, you won’t have to worry about whether you’ll have the money for it. You can budget for it instead.
Create an Income Backup Plan
Having one source of income can put you in a stressful situation. As we all saw last year during the pandemic, an economic downturn can leave many people without jobs. While it’s not healthy to constantly worry about the security of your job, it’s important to consider any backup options you have.
These days, having multiple streams of income is becoming more and more popular. It helps to start a side hustle or simply have another plan for income in place if the unexpected happens.
This could be something as simple as babysitting on weekends or mowing lawns in your area. Or, perhaps, you sign up for Uber or DoorDash and just keep the apps active on your phone. That way, if you ever need money fast, you’re all signed up and able to do some extra work.
You can also make sure you keep advancing your skills in your career field and obtain any certifications or licenses you may need if you ever needed to shift gears in your career.
Make Sure You’re Properly Insured
Having insurance can be a real lifesaver – literally in some cases. No one knows what the future will hold and it’s not really productive to spend time and energy stressing out about it. What you can do, however, is make sure that you and your family are protected with insurance.
Maintaining some kind of health insurance could eliminate stress surrounding medical fees. If you have a serious condition or are ill, ideally you don’t want to worry about money. Realize that even though you may have a medical bill, most providers are very understanding and can offer you a flexible payment plan.
If you can’t afford health insurance, see if you might qualify for Medicaid or government assistance. With life insurance, stick to term life if you’re looking for coverage at a cheaper rate. Haven Life can give you a free quote on life insurance and disability insurance.
Finally, make sure your home is insured. Renter’s insurance can be obtained through most auto insurance providers. If you have a mortgage, you will already be required to have homeowner’s insurance in most cases. Shop around for the best rates to protect yourself if anything happened to your home.
Say No More Often
Saying no more often to certain offers or circumstances can surprisingly help you stop stressing about money all the time. If you say yes to every event or obligation, this could negatively impact your finances.
As someone who’s self-employed, I have to say no to friends and family quite a bit. Yes, I can set my own schedule, but I do have to work during the week and need to defend my schedule.
I can’t say yes to dropping someone off at the airport at 1 pm because it would likely take 3 or more hours out of my working day. This affects my income and could lead to financial stress. So I say no. If you know that you truly can’t afford something at the moment, be honest without yourself and say no.
The alternative is to find a cheaper way to make it happen. For example, say your partner wants to go on a vacation but your budget is tight. Instead of completely counting it out, you can bring up the idea of taking a day trip somewhere or spending the weekend in a nearby city instead. It would be cheaper and provide you both with a relaxing getaway.
Commit to Living Without Certain Types of Debt
It’s no secret that being in debt can be stressful. Some people borrow money and take out loans to eliminate stress in their lives, but it has the opposite effect. Debt is expensive and it’s so easy to borrow money these days.
If you truly want to stop stressing about money, commit to living without certain types of debt. This could be credit cards, car loans, personal loans, or even your mortgage.
Start paying all your credit card bills in full each month and stop using them as often. You can pick a debt to tackle and pay it off once and for all. Living without those monthly bills will free up a ton of cash flow. Plus, it gives you less to worry about.
Living without debt is not always easy. It’s a conscious choice you will have to make each month. You may not have the things you want or need right away and you’ll need to be okay with that.
Summary – Stop Stressing About Money
While money is important, life is too short to be worrying about it all the time. If you can stop stressing about money, the benefit is being able to start enjoying life.
Use these tips to help you create a lifestyle where you plan and use your money wisely but don’t allow it to negatively affect your mental health.
How often do you stress about money? What can you do to start eliminating that stress?