Having to deal with money worries can be frustrating. Financial problems can take a huge toll on your mental and physical health, your relationships, and your overall quality of life. Feeling beaten down by money worries can adversely impact your sleep, self-esteem, and energy levels. It can leave you feeling angry, ashamed, or fearful, fuel tension and arguments with those closest to you, exacerbate pain and mood swings, and even increase your risk of depression and anxiety. You may resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking, abusing drugs, or gambling to try to escape your worries. Whatever your circumstances, there are ways to get through these tough economic times, ease stress and anxiety, and regain control of your finances.
A. Plan and stick to it: Just as financial stress can be caused by a wide range of different money problems, so there are an equally wide range of possible solutions. The plan to address your specific problem could be to live within a tighter budget, curb your online spending, and so on.
B. Create a monthly budget: Whatever your plan to relieve your financial problems, setting and following a monthly budget can help keep you on track and regain your sense of control.
C. Manage your overall stress: Resolving financial problems tends to involve small steps that reap rewards over time. In the current economic climate, it is unlikely your financial difficulties will disappear overnight. But that does not mean you cannot take steps right away to ease your stress levels and find the energy and peace of mind to better deal with challenges in the long-term.
D. Take inventory of your finances: If you’re struggling to make ends meet, you may think you can ease your stress by leaving bills unopened, avoiding phone calls from creditors, or ignoring bank and credit card statements. But denying the reality of your situation will only make things worse in the long run. The first step to devising a plan to solve your money problems is to detail your income, debt, and spending over the course of at least one month.
E. Talk to someone: When you are facing money problems, there is often a strong temptation to bottle everything up and try to go it alone. Many of us even consider money a taboo subject, one not to be discussed with others. You may feel awkward about disclosing the amount you earn or spend, feel shame about any financial mistakes you have made, or embarrassed about not being able to provide for your family. But bottling things up will only make your financial stress worse. In the current economy, where many people are struggling through no fault of their own, you will likely find others are far more understanding of your problems.
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