Note: This post was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.
Finances are one of the leading causes of stress worldwide. Becoming financially healthy is not only vital for your place in the world but also for staying afloat and safe. Because of the pressure that comes with finances and making ends meet for the majority of society, money can become a huge stressor.
For some, having a lot of money is also a stressor. Not knowing how to manage money is one of the number one reasons that people may come into this stress. If you’re dealing with neuroticism about your finances, read on to learn eight ways to make your financial life a little easier and less stressful for you.
For those that are married or living with a partner or someone that you share finances with, you may find financial relief by combining your incomes and sharing expenses in the household. Even if one of you makes more than the other, you can sit down and come up with a budget plan that takes that into account.
Some couples prefer to have a shared bank account because it allows the more financially comfortable person to make the financial decisions. Others may find that sharing finances with someone and not being able to spend your own money feels stressful and bad. It’s all up to you and your personal situation.
Remember, you have the right to set boundaries, including financial ones with the money you earn.
Work on Your Credit
Many people will get financial stress and feel neurotic due to credit and debt problems. These issues are very common these days, especially with significant interest rates on most credit cards and loans and more financial insecurity in the US.
This may be one of the reasons why a good credit score may be important financially.
Generally, having good credit may help boost your likelihood of becoming eligible for a loan, getting approved for jobs, obtaining lower insurance rates, and having better negotiating power on loan terms. Given these advantages, it may be a good idea to improve your credit score to stress less about your finances.
In most cases, working on your credit means paying off debt, even if only in small increments. You want to commit yourself to a plan, even if it feels like you’ll never get out of debt.
Some debt companies may be willing to work with you on your payments to help you pay less per month or even ultimately consolidate your account with one payment. If you’re really struggling to figure out where your low credit comes from, you’ll want to speak to a financial advisor. Some even work for free.
Create a Budget
These days, there are plenty of resources available to create a budget for yourself. You can use an online budget tool to automatically calculate your normal spending categories, and from there, you can allocate a certain amount of your income to each resource per month or per week.
On the other hand, if you want to create a budget manually, you may consider taking some steps. These may include recording your monthly income, adding up your expenses, establishing spending limits, and setting up your savings goals. But if you wish to make the budgeting process much easier, it may be best to familiarize yourself with the common spending categories.
In most cases, you may want to consider the following categories:
- Pet expenses (food, veterinary care, emergencies)
- Child expenses (medical insurance, food, diapers, toys, etc.)
- Rent and any taxes that come with it
- Tax payments at the start of the year
- Gas and car expenses (insurance, monthly payments, tickets, etc.)
- Debts and government owed costs
You may have more or less on your list, depending on your life circumstances. If you’re spending all of your paychecks each month, look for areas where you can cut out some expenses.
Consider Alternative Savings Methods
If you’re someone who stresses about savings and having the most money possible in case of emergencies or for something special, you’ll want to consider all your options.
Some savings methods don’t work for everyone. For example, you may struggle with simply putting aside money into your savings account from each paycheck.
Here are some methods you can try:
- Cash-envelope budgeting: Withdraw all of your earnings in cash and physically place them in separate “budget” envelopes. Make an effort to list down all the budget categories to allocate your monthly income properly.
- Stacking savings: Before buying something that you want, save up to 2x the value of that item. That way, when you buy it, you still have half of the price in your savings for next time.
- Giving money to someone else: If you are an impulsive spender, putting your money in someone else’s savings account or withdrawing it and giving it to someone you trust until you’re ready to spend it can keep you from spending the money.
These are just a few options, but there are many others to try out!
Get Help From a Financial Advisor
If your financial stress comes from not knowing what to do with your money or feeling overwhelmed by debt and financial decisions, a financial advisor is perfect for you.
Generally, a financial advisor offers financial advice or guidance to people. Some of their primary duties and responsibilities may include:
- Help individuals identify investments based on their goals and risk tolerance;
- Help determine budget and savings strategies for individuals’ financial goals;
- Help people plan their retirement savings and protect them as they head into retirement;
- Help individuals take advantage of tax-saving strategies to minimize tax liabilities.
With all these things being said, working with a financial advisor specializing in wealth management may be an excellent idea.
Besides, you don’t need to be rich to have someone help you with your finance or help improve your credit. Financial advisors can organize all of your expenses and income and help you come up with a plan that they know works. After all, they went to school for it!
See a Therapist
If your stress is becoming too much to handle, another great option is a therapist. Although there probably isn’t a category of “financial therapist” available to everyone, many therapists understand the stress and anxiety that comes with money and finances.
If you are struggling with impulsiveness with your money, a therapist can also help you with that. You can learn new techniques so that you learn to control yourself and trust yourself with your own money.
Consider Cutting Out Some Expenses
You may want to also consider cutting out some of your expenses, such as your daily coffee or eating out. Even though entertainment is excellent and fun, if you’re unable to pay your bills, it may end up causing you more stress than it did fun.
If you buy a $5 coffee every day for 30 days, you’re spending $150 on coffee per month. That money could definitely go to bills or give you some wiggle room for savings as well.
For some people, your bank and the institution’s rules may cause stress. If you’re finding that your bank just isn’t working for you, you can change banks. Some banks offer more online-tailored banking, some offer credit opportunities, and some offer only the basics.
If your bank has huge fees or takes out gigantic overdraft fees every month, you may want to consider a bank with overdraft protection or no overdraft fees.
Try out these tips to feel more comfortable financially in your own life. If you want to learn more about neuroticism and how it impacts people, you can read more on this site here: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/neuroticism/.
Good luck and happy budgeting!