10 Financial Experts on the #1 Way to Reduce Financial Stress
Are you constantly stressed about money? Worried that you don’t have enough saved for your future? You are not alone! According to recent data from Northwestern Mutual’s 2018 Planning & Progress Study, 44 percent of Americans say that money is their greatest source of stress, and 46 percent worry about outliving their savings.
This isn’t very surprising. Money touches nearly every aspect of our lives, it’s almost impossible to not get emotional about money. But instead of letting those emotions get the best of you, there are some things that you can do, today, to combat feelings of financial stress.
So we asked the pros, “What is your #1 tip for reducing financial stress?”
Here’s what our Peak Guides had to say...
Ashley Copeland (Stacks & the City): Look at your finances! Look at the amount of money in your account, look at the debt you have, look at the patterns of your spending habits. It isn't as bad as you think!
Athena (Money Smart Latina): My number one tip for reducing financial stress would be take a step back and breathe. As hard as it sounds, even when you feel like you are drowning, you are not your money, credit score, etc. Sounds hokey but that is a quick way to relieve some stress. Once you can calm down, you can usually see things a bit clearer, then move on from there.
Emily Guy Birken (Author of End Financial Stress Now): Make sure you pause before you make any financial decisions, whether they are large or small. We have a tendency to spend money (or make other financial decisions) reactively without actually thinking through what we are doing and why. If you get in the habit of asking yourself "why am I doing this and do I really need to?" with the small purchases and decisions, it gets easier to do a gut check when you are faced with bigger financial problems and issues rather than blindly react. Forcing yourself to just pause and think about a financial choice before you make it can help you use your money mindfully rather than reactively.
Jennifer (ADLT 101): When I feel myself getting overwhelmed about money I always make sure to take a deep breath and then draft a realistic plan. I try and figure out what my next 3 steps should be to help me reach my goals and focus on doing one at a time.
Mandyy Thomas (Financial Coach): My number one tip for reducing financial stress, is first recognizing your feelings and talking about how you feel. Opening up and saying how your financial stress is affecting you and your daily quality of life is very powerful. It can take you from feeling high stress and anxiety, to a burden lifted off your chest because you've finally said out loud, something you've been feeling for so long. Once you share this with someone you trust, you can then come up with a plan to improve your finances. But first, it is very important for your mental and emotional health to recognize these feelings and to get them out of your body.
Natasha (WealthStylist): My #1 tip for reducing financial stress is a commitment to weekly money check-ins to ward off any money surprises. Checking in with your money is a form of self-care.
Nicole Rule (Greatest Worth): The willingness to bring honest, non-judgmental awareness is both the starting point for healthy finances and a lasting way to reduce financial stress. Fear, overwhelm and powerlessness - central ingredients to stress - arise from uncertainty. Awareness is the most direct and sustainable way to challenge that uncertainty.
It's a simple process with complex results. Generally, financial awareness begins with an understanding of where money is coming from and where it is going. Again, awareness is not about judgment - it's not about how much or how little, good or bad. Instead, it's an opportunity to step out of uncertainty, away from powerlessness, and into the reality of the moment and towards control.
Awareness as an antidote to stress may seem counterintuitive. It may feel like financial stress is a result of having too little. But, time and time (and time) again in my work at Greatest Worth, I see the truth that awareness is THE foundation for change and THE thing that brings calm and ease.
Tasha Danielle (Financial Garden): Breathe and begin to think of ways to reduce the stress by breaking the solution into small pieces! For example, I felt like I was never going to get rid of the $80k of debt that I accumulated by the age of 25. When I broke the debt down into mini goals (with an assigned reward) using the snowball method, I was able to get rid of the debt in 3.5 years.
Tyler Hood (When the Money’s Good): If you have a solid plan in place, you'll never have to worry! Create a reasonable budget and stick to it, giving every dollar a job, will help to reduce your worry around money, build your confidence, and achieve financial goals.
Krystel (All She Saves): My #1 tip for reducing financial stress is simply being aware of your financial situation. For a majority of my life, I've been terrified of my financial situation. I used to be terrified of looking at my bank account, scared of seeing a negative balance or a balance that could barely afford my bills. Similarly, I was terrified of knowing how much student loan debt I had. If you asked me at the time, I honestly would have no idea how much debt was to my name. It wasn't until 3 years ago I forced myself to figure out the exact amount, down to the cents. Money and fear had always been synonymous in my mind until I took control of my financial situation. Now, I am aware of every single dollar that comes in and out of my account. I track my expenses and income meticulously so I know exactly where my hard earned money is going, and how much I'm spending each month on certain categories like groceries or eating out (continually the category I need to spend less on!) The simple act of being aware has changed my financial mindset so much and also reduced the financial stress I have in my life. Money no longer controls my thoughts because I've pulled back the fear of not knowing. Instead of being afraid, I now feel in control.
Ready to take control of your financial stress this holiday season? Download Peak in the App Store, to stress less and save more! Do any of these tips stand out to you? Leave a comment to let us know. Cheers to a stress-free holiday season!
Learn more about the Peak Guides, here.