5 Ways to Lower Stress Over Money
If you are always worrying about money here are some things that you can do to help change that:
Stop watching the financial news programs. They don’t help you. It’s mostly shock jocks that are trying to get your attention and grab ratings. They are good at creating a sense that there’s all these great opportunities that you are missing out on. Quick or you’ll miss out! The reality: It’s all just hype. It’s mostly useless noise. The reality is there are not lots of people out there gleaning important investment moves from those shows. Just stop listening.
Get a clear picture of your current situation. Keep track of every thing you spend money on for one month. Then compare it with your take home pay. Uncertainty adds to stress. Knowing you have a financial problem but not really knowing how bad the situation is just makes the stress over it worse. Sit down and figure out where you stand today. It’s hard to work on solutions if you don’t the specifics. (The next step is to create a budget. If you need help find a CPA or CFP®.)
Don’t look at your investment portfolio every day or even every week. The market fluctuates constantly. You can add a lot of unnecessary stress by over thinking it and focusing on the short-term fluctuations in the market. You should be investing for the long-term. Once you have an investment strategy that you are confident in (I recommend finding a fee-only financial adviser to help you) then tune out and let it be. Check in on it every few weeks or once a month.
Stop trying to “keep up with the Jones’s.” Decide you don’t care. Let your friends and neighbors have the fanciest car or the giant new home. Trying to keep up with everyone else and prove that you are just as successful is a common reason that leads people to spend more than they can afford. The truth is that many are up to their eyeballs in debt trying to maintain that image. That’s not what you truly want is it? Decide you won’t be sucked into that. Besides, in the long-run you’ll be the one retiring sooner and living a lower stress lifestyle. Isn’t that better anyway?
Spend less time around people who have expensive entertainment habits. If you are trying cut down on your spending then maybe hanging out with friends that always want to do expensive activities is not in your best interest. It won’t be good for your pocket-book and will stress you out when you are spending money you know you can’t afford.