Have you ever had a couple of crazy days, and suddenly you realize you’ve got to make the money left in your envelope or wallet stretch for another few days? There can be a few moments of panic while you’re trying to make ends meet until the next paycheck in just 2-3 days. Sadly, this kind of financial stress is normal in most households.
Thankfully, there’s a better way – and these tips to relieve financial stress will help ease you into that better way of life. And then we can talk all about envelope budgeting and how to be prepared financially.
10 Tips to Relieve Financial Stress
Now, some of these tips aren’t going to be easy things to hear – especially if you’re already stressed. They will, however, help things get better. And they will help you feel better over time.
1. It’s time to get real and admit you’ve got a problem.
Avoiding a problem isn’t a solution: it makes the problem worse. Trust me!
So if you’re willing to admit that financial stress is a real thing for you, then congratulations; you’re ready to make some big changes and find true financial freedom.
And with these tips (and some serious budgeting work), you’ll be able to quit stressing about every bill that comes due – whether it was expected or not. Instead, you’ll be able to read it, pay it, and move on without wanting to cry or eat all the tacos.
2. Start tracking every penny.
Spent $5.21 at the grocery store? Write it down – and what you spent it on. Earned an extra $35 dog sitting? Write it down – along with how you earned it.
The reason for this is simple: when you know where your money comes from and goes, you can learn so much information. But even more importantly, you’ll learn important places where you can make different, more financially sound decisions. Like choosing NOT to buy tacos twice in one day just because you’ve had a rough day.
3. Cut expenses – run lean!
Once you know where your money is going, it’s time to turn your budget into a lean machine. Maybe that means cutting cable out for a while – or calling the cable company and downgrading because you’d forgotten to renew your promotional pricing. Either way, it’s finding a way to cut costs and run your household on fewer expenses.
For us, it means regularly evaluating every bill – even my cell phone bill!
In any case, cut back on anything you don’t need, aren’t using, or can’t afford. And if you think you’re already running on minimal expenses? Look again. You’d be surprised at recurring expenses that you don’t need to be paying – but you are.
4. For now, focus on free activities
However long you define “now” as, focus on free stuff. Find free things to do – hiking is one of our favorite activities. And you know what? It’s almost always free.
Even if you can’t find free activities, find things to do that don’t cost much. You don’t have to go without entertainment or hobbies. Just find a way to relax, enjoy downtime, and spend as little as possible for right now. You’ll be able to reevaluate again soon, I promise.
5. Look for doable ways to increase your income
Maybe it means becoming a dog sitter – or watching your neighbor’s kids for a couple of hours here and there in a trade. Maybe it means using your kid-free time (after that trade!) to work on an extra or freelance project.
Or maybe it means taking on some extra seasonal, part-time, temporary, or even full-time employment. You could drive for Uber or pet sit via Rover or do transcriptions for Rev. There are so many internet and at-home based jobs these days. And many of them are very flexible.
6. Teach your family better money habits
Teaching anything is a great way to learn it better. So why not take this opportunity to teach your family better money management skills? Learn how to budget together.
While kids don’t need to learn specifics about upcoming bills, it would be good for them to learn these and other tips to relieve financial stress – before it happens.
Or if they’re old enough, let them start doing chores around the house and neighborhood to earn their own spending money. Give them the chance to learn by making safe mistakes now – so that they avoid costly errors in the future.
7. Improve your job skills now for a better future
If you’re finding that you need more income, that’s great. It may be time to improve your job skills through technical training or additional education. Workshops, certifications, or a degree can help you land a better, higher-paying job.
Just be smart about which you choose to do – not all degrees and certifications are created equal. Many offer increased knowledge without earning potential, job availability, or job security. So be sure to consider all of those areas before committing to a specific educational path.
8. Spend less money than you earn
In other words, live within your means. It’s tempting to live in a house you can’t easily afford or buy that fancy boat/car/trailer/whatever.
The truth is, it may be time for you to downsize your life for a season. Live a less expensive lifestyle now – it’ll save you the financial stress while allowing you to save up for fun stuff later.
9. Find ways to manage your stress in a healthier fashion
Retail therapy is a real thing – but using it to manage all of your stress? Well, that’s going to cause some issues – especially if you’re experiencing financial stress!
So instead, find ways to manage your stress that focus on keeping you physically healthy and fit. Specifically, learn to eat a healthy balance of foods. Get regular exercise. Not only will you feel better, you’ll also be healthier. And your wallet will feel better, too.
10. Learn mindfulness and use relaxation techniques
Meditation and relaxation techniques can help you take the financial stress and manage it better. They can help teach you mindfulness so that you can live each day better – and even make better financial decisions.
Because when you’re operating from a place of power and mindfulness, you won’t be as tempted to keep up with the Joneses next door. And that’ll help you keep to your budget and manage your money.
Let Go of Financial Stress – and See Success
These tips to relieve financial stress work – mostly because they help you better manage your money.
Because really. Our options are to learn to manage our money – or let it manage us. The first road leads to success – and the second leads to stress. So use these tips to get off that stressful road and onto the successful one.
- Get free self-reliance information online from The Church of Jesus Christ
- The Easier Way to Worry-Free Food Storage – your food budget gets a ton easier with food storage!
- Keep some emergency cash – and watch worries go away. How to Save and Store Emergency Cash
- You don’t have to deck the halls and go broke every year. How to Enjoy Christmas Shopping on a Budget