I believe that happiness is the meaning of life and you need to make every day as upbeat as possible, from the start of your working day until you get home! Relieving stress definitely helps to achieve this. Financial stress is a burden for a lot of us and using half your income on rent and bills isn’t making each day joyful. We all know the feeling after working a 40 hour week and home on a Friday afternoon thinking ‘I can’t do anything or go out…I have just paid off bills.’
We all deal with stressful situations differently when faced with an emergency. For example, if a building caught on fire, some of your colleagues might freak out while others may stay completely calm and in control. Managing your stress levels can help you make better financial decisions and help you achieve some realistic goals.
For me personally, I found it takes about a year of working in a stable job and environment to overcome any debt problems and/or start some decent savings. Face them head on, having two months of being poor and not going out will not end your life. This can be a big start to saving. I can easily spend $150 on drinks and a night out, but cringe at the thought of entering my card credentials to pay a $65 parking ticket.
Prioritise! Yes, we are all guilty of spending hundreds of dollars on useless material items instead of paying for a doctor’s bill or booking your full licence test. Make a plan of attack, start with one thing on the list and work from there. Don’t write them all down and think you have all these things to do and pay for, break the list down. Each time you pay a bill instead of shopping online, you will actually feel a lot better and less stressed. I know the excitement of waiting for your package to arrive feels a little like Christmas and the courier-man is Santa, but this feeling wears off very fast and overdue bills last A LOT longer. Not having debts in the back of your mind is a huge stress relief. You can’t avoid life by buying a new set of golf clubs. The feeling of new shoes lasts five minutes, stress is something you can lose sleep over. Set goals to get motivated and be proud of your financial progress!
‘We buy things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t even know’ There is obviously a lot of debate over this common quote, but there is also a lot of truth.
What are you dealing with?
Drowning? Your living expenses are exceeding your income and then you can’t keep your head above the water. You’re spending more than you make.
Barely Surviving? Paying off bills, but living pay cheque to pay cheque.
Owing? Even if you are meeting your expenses and saving for your future, you still have debts.
Complicated? Last cause of stress, your finances are too complicated and have gotten out of control. Too many accounts and no financial plan. Trying to manage your finances for the first time.
Financial Advice 101
Alter your language and attitude. ‘I want to spend less and I will increase my income.’ Focus on spending less and really think about what makes you happy and what you actually need. If you get a pay rise, you may be able to adapt your expenditure, we tend to spend more if we have more. So really taking an effort to edit your spending habits is a good start.
Think about what you really want and your actions will preach your thoughts or beliefs. Don’t lose control! When you feel like you have no power at all, all you can do is start with one thing at a time! This is the one way to show yourself that you do have financial power over the situation.
RULE: Reject thoughts of failure! They no longer exist.
Financial troubles are not a sign of personal weakness and you should tackle then with the same understanding as we would for someone going through a break up or a tough time. Cut yourself some slack. But remember that avoiding your financial problems will just make them worse. For example, leaving letters piling up and not opening them will not help your situation. I know you’re scared, but once you do face them, they’re normally not that bad. It tends to be that you have built a lot of this up in your head. The faster you open them, the quicker you will be able to deal with them.
There is no need to feel perplexed and confused about your current money position. Work with a financial advisor or coach to get yourself back on track and feel more optimistic about your situation!
Disclaimer: The above information is general in nature and not intended to be financial advice. You should consider seeking professional advice before following any suggestions in this blog/website.