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To reduce financial stress, one of the biggest things you can do is to start becoming aware of your relationship with money. If you feel stressed as you make money decisions, or as you are making financial transactions, it can be easy to allow yourself to be overwhelmed with these feelings. However, this overwhelm will not help you in any way; instead it will paralyse you and keep you stuck in the same place.
1 Where did it start?
You might find it helpful to become aware of your thoughts and feelings and try to work out where the cause of the financial stress has come from. Doing this might lead you back to your childhood or your teenage years as you work out and unpick your money story. Once you have identified where these feelings have come from you can then start to pinpoint where your main weaknesses lie. You can then analyse these feelings have come from, then you can start to make changes and develop a calmer approach to money. If you can really tune into you how feel, both now and back then, it will help you to figure out the most important bit – what can you do about it?
2 Thinking can reduce your financial stress
Only by investigating and improving your mindset can you expect to improve your relationship with money. Improving it doesn’t need to be a painful process. Once you are aware of your thought processes you can notice them and then choose to change them. Eg: If, as you are paying for something in a shop, you notice that you are stressed about the purchases simply take some time to think about WHY you are feeling this way. Is it because you don’t know if you have enough money in your account? Or it is because the total has come to more than you expected? Perhaps it could be because you grudge spending money on this item? Or maybe you feel that you really shouldn’t be buying it. Notice and tune into your thought processes. Don’t stop at the first answer you get – really examine in detail and continue to ask yourself WHAT and WHY questions until you get to the juicy stuff about why you are feeling this way.
3 Get it out in the open
A great way of reducing financial stress is to be more open in discussing it. Many of us have been brought up to believe that is rude to discuss money. I think that is half the problem! If we hide money away it becomes something to be feared and a mystery to many. Instead, having everyday conversations about it normalises it and allows us to share and learn from others. Talking about money regularly with partner allows it to be discussed in positive terms. Often the only time that couples discuss money is when they are arguing about it. This leads to further cement the idea that money is bad or stressful. It is also important for children to hear conversations about money that are positive and happy in nature, otherwise they too will grow up feeling financial stress.
4 Educated and empowered
Learning as much as you can about money is a great way to reduce financial stress. There are so many great resources online now, so there is no excuse for not finding out what you need to know. If you don’t understand how much of your money you should be spending on certain areas, then start right here. Not sure which account pays the most interest? Search “best interest paying savings account” Getting a subscription to a financial magazine, Which, is only £3 per month and can provide a valuable source of education on hundreds of money issues. As you grow in confidence, you will find that the stress disappears and, you feel a great sense of satisfaction from increasing your knowledge of money issues.
5 Planning in advance
Getting your finances in order and becoming more organised around money matters can remove a huge amount of stress. Planning your financial year can really help you to keep on top of all the important events, have the money to pay for them and be able to enjoy them to the full, while feeling relaxed and calm around money. Eg: by working out how much you will need at Christmas, you can open an account and transfer small amounts of money over each month to ensure that you have enough to pay for everything in advance. If this is not something that you have ever done, you will be amazed at how great it feels to be able to enjoy every minute of Christmas, knowing that everything is bought and paid for. It can also save you money, by not having to borrow and therefore pay interest on your borrowing.
6 Get it sorted
Going through financial paperwork and organising it so that everything is easy to find is a brilliant stress buster. Imagine knowing EXACTLY where to find everything and being able to locate it within 30 seconds. Compare that to searching through drawers and piles of paperwork to find that one document, and you will see the benefits of an organised system. Another area that causes huge stress around money is in debts and debt repayment. If you have read any of my previous blog posts, then you will know that I consider credit card minimum payments to be the work of the devil! They keep you stuck in a spiral of debt which is scary, stressful, and sad. Instead, take control of your debt, firstly by switching to 0% cards. Then increase the amount you are paying to these each month, until you can be free of these bad debts. The feeling of relief when you have no debt repayments to make each month is amazing. It will free your body, mind and soul and allow you to live on your terms.
Worried about debt and need some help?
Based In Grantham, UK PayPlan.com offer free financial solutions to members of the british public needing help financially, for more information on their debt management company visit their website. I hope that this post has helped you to consider how you can reduce your financial stress. I also have a couple of brilliant FREE downloads to help you, depending on your circumstances.
A guide to becoming debt free
Would you like to be debt-free?
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Change your Money Story
Would you like to feel great about money?
- be excited for the future
- see what’s stopping you
- feel empowered; in control
- have MORE money for fun
Eileen x I am Eileen Adamson, Your Money, Sorted coach, working online with UK based women. I can help you to develop a better relationship with money and feel calm, relaxed and positive about money. This will allow you to feel confident, in control and able to make good financial decisions. Through creating a good relationship with money you can then live the life that YOU want to lead.