Money

9 Steps to Cut Financial Stress

07.08.12 MoneyBag

Managing your money can get downright stressful.  If you have too little, you can begin to worry about your obligations.  If you have a lot of cash, leveraging your money can be a full time job.

The money editors at Cotton Candy Magazine® are here to help take the stress out of managing your finances.  With these nine suggestions, you will likely find yourself with less tension and a greater sense of control.

Take control of your feelings.  No one can control every circumstance in life.  But you can control your reaction to your circumstances.  When you make an effort to control your emotions, you will have a clearer mind to make sound decisions about your finances.

Face your fears.  Avoiding your financial obligations will only make your situation worse. Instead, make an action plan to deal with your financial obligations, and begin to put it to work.  Even a little progress will encourage you to keep going and change your situation.

Determine your needs versus your wants.  Identifying your needs will help you prioritize.  Savings are a must.  Clothes are a must. Transportation and food are definite must haves.  So these things must be taken care of first.  Once you’ve taken care of your needs, feel free to spend on your wants.  You will have a peace of mind knowing that your needs have already been met.

Consider cutting back.  Reevaluate your expenses and determine if you have cheaper options.  Perhaps you can cut your cell phone bills, lessen your costly beauty regimens or pull back on eating out.  There is no need to cut back on everything.  But by making a few changes you can save the money and save for other wants.

Stop budgeting.  This may be counterintuitive.  But too much counting and calculating can actually add stress to your financial worries. Instead, determine what you need to save each month for your long-term goals – let’s say retirement or college – then have the money automatically debited from your bank account.  Since you’ve already saved, the left over cash is yours to spend.

Treat your body right.  Eat well.  Exercise often.  Not only will a healthy body lower your medical bills, but exercise can help you release stress and reduce feelings of pressure.

Be kind.  Writing a check to your fave charity is a great way to release not only your stress but the stress of others.  Helping others has its financial benefits come tax season, and more importantly, your generosity will leave you feeling better as you change the lives of others.

Take inventory.  Know how much money you have at the beginning of the month.  Understand your spending habits. When you know how much you have compared to what you are actually spending, you’ll make the best moves for your financial resources.

Hop a train.  Try taking public transportation or riding a bike when you can. This is especially easy for those of us who live in major cities with extensive transportation systems.  Public transportation will save you money on gas, insurance and maintenance.

Cotton Candy Magazine®