In this day and age financial stress probably counts for at least half of most people’s anxiety. It seems like there’s more money going out then coming in.
It wasn’t because I didn’t have the money. I mean, I was working and I’m talking about basic utilities not grand luxuries. I just didn’t want to see the money going out and checking my balances when I knew they weren’t where I wanted them to be.
But problems don’t fix themselves so I had to face the beast and do something about it.
Do you know what I’m talking about, does the thought of balancing your accounts or paying your primary bills make you sick? Why, is it because you can’t afford them or just that you’ll have less money if you do?
Are your essentials cutting into some other financial plans?
Why should you pay the internet bill, right? It’s not like you use it that much. Who goes on the internet now-a-days anyway… lame?
Being smart about your money doesn’t have to be painful. If you figure out your desired outcome, what’s causing your stress and set up a budget you can get relief and farther ahead then you thought.
You Just Can’t Spend Carelessly
Retail therapy is an old favorite. Just grab a friend and head to your favorite shopping mecca or eatery. Laugh it up, or sulk it down, dollar after dollar until you can no longer feel or the magnetic strip on your card stops working.
Sounds like a good idea and you have so much fun doing it, losing yourself in the moment. But not so much fun when the credit card bill comes in. Or when you’re sorting out the receipts later in the week, reality sets in even harder.
Not really therapeutic anymore uh? Actually you might need real therapy afterward.
Denial of the Real issue
Distractions are fun but should be done in moderation, like when you need a mental break. Distractions are just that, distractions. They don’t solve your problems and could even make them worse when time and amount of spending is a factor.
If you have real issues going on don’t turn to your wallet for escape. Only when it can be used as direct relief to your problem. For instance, you’re living room is always cold so you might buy a space heater or turn up the thermostat. You don’t book a trip to the Aruba because your home will still be cold when you get back and you’ll have less money to deal with the issue.
If your spending is triggered by other issues, approach them directly.
Budgeting and Financial Goals
Develop a financial plan for yourself based on your goals. Identify what your goals are. Do you want to buy a new car or just save more money each month?
Whatever it is assign an appropriate figure, and create a realistic budget for achievement. Whether you want to save a certain amount each month or spend no more than a certain amount. You can set up a cap for each category of spending (groceries, utilities, entertainment, etc.) or an overall monthly budget, whatever works for you.
Personally, I put a cap on my monthly spending that still gave me room to go out and have a little fun. After setting up the budget I immediately saw how wasteful I was. When you don’t keep track of your money it’s easy for it to just fly out of your hands.
I started saving the following month and gained a better understanding of how much things were costing me. Handling my bills were no longer a task, actually something I looked forward to so I could see the growth.
In a matter of months I was in a different place financially, without making any more money, just being smarter with what I had.
Stress in any situation usually comes from a place of lack. Not having the means to solve it, always wondering “What am I going to do?” Don’t panic and make impulsive decisions for destruction.
You just have to take a breath and sorting things out to come up with a plan for a resolution. Most of the time, you don’t need much more than what you already have.