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Oct 24

Finances And Stress – How Are You Feeling

Let’s face it- finances can be very stressful. The APA (American Psychological Association) reports that American worry most about the economy, their job, and having enough money set aside in savings. A job loss, car breakdown, or overall change in financial status can really have an impact on our emotions and can be the cause of many sleepless nights and stressful days due to worrying.

The good news is that stress that comes from worrying about money can actually be turned into something positive if dealt with in the right way. This is done by channeling our emotions in the right way and taking practical steps in the ways we deal with our finances. When a financial crisis arises, how you deal with it will have a huge impact on how it makes you feel and the amount of stress it causes you.

In the case of a lost job, it’s important to not get discouraged. That may sound easy but be hard for many people but the bottom line is, it’s not going to help you to be negative about your circumstances. Instead, reach out to the people in your life in an effort to get some emotional and possible financial support. Talking about your feelings will help alleviate the stress you feel and give you a more positive outlook on your situation.

Sit down and look at your budget, crunch the numbers, and figure out where you can cut monthly costs until you find a new job. Track your expenses for at least a month and decide where you need to make cuts and changes to your budget. Be honest with yourself and your family about which expenses are “wants” and which are “needs”.

If and when your car breaks down, consider your options for getting it fixed. Do you have a “rainy day” fund? How about an emergency credit card? If those aren’t an option, perhaps you can ask a friend or family member to help out until you can get back on your feet. If you do get help from someone close to you, be sure to draw up a contract and include interest that you will pay them as part of your loan agreement. Include when you will pay them back as well.

In the process of figuring out how you will pay for the repairs, give yourself time to process the situation. Car breakdowns can be very discouraging, especially when they happen often. Reach out to someone who knows a good mechanic; someone who doesn’t charge a lot to do repairs. Also, see if anyone you know has an extra car they can let you use while yours if being fixed. Using all of your resources will help you stay calm and will hopefully reduce the amount of stress you feel.

If your stress comes from living “paycheck-to-paycheck”, create a plan that helps you deal with the shortcomings in your monthly budget. Ask your boss if you have the option to work overtime. If you don’t think there is room to move up in your current position, consider looking for another job. If you really don’t want to leave where your current position, perhaps you can take on a second job, one that fits your current schedule. It’s all about knowing your options!

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