Finances can be a major stressor in your life. Many people struggle from paycheck to paycheck to pay their bills; others are unemployed with no paycheck. Still others are trying to save for retirement or a much needed vacation. Whatever the reason, we have all felt the anxiety associated with the need to earn money and how to spend the money we do have.
Effects of Inability to Handle Financial Stress
The effects of not handling the stress associated with your finances can be deadly. People who have increased stress are shown to be in worse health overall than people who are able to cope effectively with their stress. Not handling or coping with stress can lead to insomnia, heart problems, digestive problems, difficulty in concentration and changes in mood and mental status.
Signs that You May Suffer from Financial Stress
You may be suffering from stress due to finances that you do not even recognize. If you do not know that you have or can potentially have stress, it is impossible to effectively cope with it.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you live paycheck to paycheck?
- Are you aware of your monthly expenses; account balances, amounts due, etc?
- Are you barely able to make the minimum payment on credit cards?
- Are your checks bouncing or is your account balance negative?
- Do you use one credit card to pay the bill for another credit card?
- Do you avoid discussing finances with your spouse because of the anxiety it causes?
- Do you get headaches and stomach upsets, or ulcers related to your financial worry?
- Are you trying to keep up with the lifestyles and spending of your friends and neighbors?
There are many more questions to be asked but simply put, if you answered yes to even some of these questions you are probably having or at risk of having financial stress.
Spending more money than you make, lack of planning and over spending for your own self esteem can lead to disaster; financially, emotionally, mentally and physically.
How to ‘Get a Handle’ on Handling Financial Stress
Now that you have taken a look at your finances, your knowledge of your finances, spending habits and what not managing them can do to your health, it is time to change all that! The best way to cope with finances is to look them in the eye and face them head on. Ignoring them will do nothing to fix them or alleviate the stress you have because of them.
- Write it down. Make a list of your spending habits. Account for every cent you make and every cent you spend. Know where your money is going. When you know where your money is going, you are better able to see where you can make cuts to bring your spending into your budget.
- Make a plan. Write out a monthly budget. Plan for those expenses that do not occur monthly, like car and home insurance. If you need help in doing this there are organizations that will help you, usually for free. Check for local credit counseling agencies to get help.
- When you are spending your money, determine if what you are buying is something you want or something you need. If it is something you merely want, do not spend your money. Spend your money only on things you need.
- Enable yourself to earn more money by learning new skills.
- At holidays talk to family and friends and set limits on spending for gifts, or agree not to exchange gifts this year.
In doing these things, you can start to change your relationship with money. By managing your finances more efficiently you will lower your stress. Lowering or eliminating stress related to finances can help you to lead a more fulfilling, healthier and happier life. Full life insurance coverage will help relieve financial stress in the future.
February 22nd, 2010
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