6 Ways To Cope With Financial Stress
Between rising interest and an evolving work environment, it seems the past couple of years have seen more people than usual experiencing financial hardship and stress. While stress is an understandable response to current situations, it can lead to health problems. Therefore, it is necessary to take stock of your situation and figure out the best way to move forward, limiting and dealing with financial stress in a healthy way.
1. Focus on What You Can Control
There is no point crying over spilled milk. Whatever happened to get you to this point is in the past. It would be best to look to the future and, more importantly, the now. What can you do at this moment to improve your situation?
It is crucial to only look at what you can control. You cannot control the rising grocery or gas prices. You can control your budget and how you spend your income.
2. Talk To Lenders and Professionals
Many people look at lenders or credit issuers like they are the bad guy, and while there might have been some truth to that sentiment years ago, most lenders want to help their clients as best they can. Do not be afraid to contact an account issuer to discuss your options; many are willing to work with you.
Talk to a financial advisor if you do not feel confident enough to handle negotiations or financial discussions. If you cannot afford an advisor, consider talking to a representative at your bank.
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3. Pay Essential Bills
While allowing bills to become past due or go to collections is not the best solution, sometimes, you have no choice but to push off payments. However, you should always pay the essentials, like utilities, mortgage, car payments, etc.
Failing to pay essential bills can lead to further financial and livelihood troubles. For instance, not paying the mortgage could lead to foreclosure, leaving you in financial trouble without a roof over your head.
4. Find Additional Income
While it might sound like a cruel piece of advice, you might need to find a source of additional income, especially if your current job isn't cutting it. The good news is with the internet and the digital age; it is easier than ever to get a side hustle.
5. Track Your Spending
One of the main issues for people dealing with financial stress is living beyond their means. It is easy to spend more than you make, especially if you have multiple credit cards.
The best way to curb overspending or bad spending habits is to track everything. If you spend a dollar on a candy bar, write it down. Having a log of all your spending will show you where you can afford to make cuts.
6. Save and Invest, If Possible
The best way to deal with financial stress is to have a plan and savings in place for the more challenging times. While saving or investing might not be possible for you right now, it is something you should plan for.
Consider putting at least 20% of your income into a savings account when your finances are looking better. Save for an emergency fund, and then save for the future.
Financial stress is becoming relatively normal in the current economy, but there are ways to cope. What advice do you have for someone facing financial hardship? Comment below.