For almost one third of Americans, money and financial responsibilities are among the most common sources of stress. And it’s hardly any wonder. Between student loans, mortgages and overspending, many of us face debt; and the economic effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are exacerbating the strain on both our wallets and well-being. These tips from Cadence Bank’s Teresa Griswold, however, may help you minimize financial stress and make strides toward a more stable future!
1. Take (or Make) Time for Your Mental Health
Although it may have a different root cause, financial stress is no different from any other form of stress. It’s easy to want to fix the problem as quickly as possible, but it takes a little preparation — you can’t pour from an empty pitcher. Prioritize your mental health with a good laugh or a moment of meditation or by working up a good sweat!
2. Adjust Your Priorities
Today’s culture of “spend, spend, spend” can lead to a skewed idea of what we need and deserve. But that’s not always the best move financially. Before every non-essential purchase, ask yourself if what you’re about to buy is more important than getting out of debt. And remember, money isn’t the only form of wealth. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have, such as family and friends.
3. Create A Plan…And Stick to It
In order to escape debt, you must spend less than you earn. Unfortunately, that’s not as easy as it sounds. Create a budget plan that’s appropriate to your income level and financial responsibilities, making sure your goals are realistic so you can stay committed. And if you slip up, don’t give up! Learn from your mistakes, adjust your approach and keep moving forward.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
You don’t have to face financial stress alone. Talking to a trusted friend or family member can help you not only work through the issue but can potentially offer new perspectives. In fact, an expert’s opinion can be extremely helpful in the face of more challenging crises. And don’t forget United Way of Central Alabama’s Financial Stability Workshops! Held on a monthly basis, these programs cover a wide range of topics, from how to purchase a home to estate planning — even how to beat financial stress!
Financial stress can affect us all, but these tips can help you cope with the negativity and focus on solutions. To learn more about how United Way of Central Alabama works to help people throughout our community become financially stable and independent, click here.
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