Have the words “budgeting” and “saving” always bugged you a little because they seem a bit out of your reach? Do you feel like your expenses and your debt are so overwhelming that you’ll never get out of the situation you’re in?
*big sigh together*
We understand that feeling, and it has a name. What’s wearing you down is financial stress and if we don’t address it in the short term, it can have really negative effects in the long term.
It starts out with anxiety, a lack of sleep, and maybe a few other symptoms like headaches and stomachaches. But if your financial stress is unrelenting, the negative health effects in the long term can include chronic illnesses, like diabetes and heart disease. That doesn’t sound ideal, does it?
We’ve got a few coping strategies to share with you that will alleviate some of that stress! Not all of it though, we wish. But what we can promise is that these strategies will make it easier to handle the financial stress, especially if you’re also juggling school or work stress. Let’s dive through them together!
1. Learn the language of money
If you think about your future and all you see is financial uncertainty, then we need to tackle a different problem first. This means that part of your financial stress might be because you haven’t learnt yet what it takes to manage your money. And that’s okay!!
Everyone has to start somewhere and financial literacy is not something we’re born with. Take the time to learn what you don’t know! Let yourself be really bad at it for the first while, until eventually you know what you’re doing! We’re thinking long term about your stress and we want to fix the root of the problem, not just the symptoms.
2. Find a great support system
Take a beat to sit down and think about your support system. Who can you reach out to for advice, or maybe just for a listening ear? Do you feel ashamed about bringing up your finances around some of the people in your network? Why might that be?
Therapy can be a great place to start if you want a neutral listener! Your therapist can walk you through other strategies to cope with your financial stress and they might even help you get to the source of it.
What about a financial advisor? Would that alleviate some of the stress you’re feeling? It may sound like an expense you can’t afford, but you won’t know until you talk to one. They could help you get on track and turn out to be the best investment you make.
3. Practice Self-Care
The first thing that starts to go when we get too overwhelmed and stressed out is our priority to practice self-care (naturally). But that’s exactly when you do need it!! We’re not talking elaborate face masks and bubble baths…we’re talking about the smaller stuff that makes a huge difference, like going on a small walk, reading, or stretching. There are tons of self-care ideas for stress to choose from. Find ways to de-stress and look after your wellbeing. It makes all the difference!
4. Journal through your journey
Journaling is a great practice! We’ve been shouting this from the rooftops since day one because journaling has so many positive benefits for your mental health.
When it comes to your financial stress, learn how to set goals with journaling. It can be used as a tool to track your progress, which you can look back on later on. How awesome will it be to read these entries again once you’ve accomplished your financial goals? Bezos, we’re coming for you.
5. Allow yourself a reward
We know this isn’t going to be an easy process. First, you’re learning brand new skills! Second, you have to practice these skills, which will be frustrating at first. And third, you’ll stumble and fall every once in a while and feel like none of your hard work was worth it. But it is worth it!
So do something nice for yourself every time you reach a new milestone! No matter how small the goal, make sure to celebrate it with a little gift, from you to you.
We hope these strategies are really helpful for you! Take your learning process one step at a time and eventually, you’ll overcome your financial stress. And be kind to yourself! Your mental health and wellbeing will thank you for it.