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What is Financial Stress and How Do You Cope with it?

Man with financial documents sitting on carpet.

For many people, financial concerns are a daily problem, especially with the uncertainty of today’s economy. If money troubles keep you up at night, you are not alone. Financial stress can stem from job instability, not earning enough money, or the big expense of raising children. But if you can reduce your financial worry and feel more in control of your finances, you can focus on other important areas of your life. By understanding how financial stress impacts your health, you can make a plan to tackle your financial situation.

What is Financial Stress?

Financial anxiety and worry are some of the most common stressors in today’s world. Statistics show that seventy-seven percent of Americans are anxious about their finances. More than half of Americans feel like their finances control them instead of the other way around.

Financial stress feeling of trying to find money to pay credit card debt.
Financial Stress Is A Condition That Comes As A Result Of A Financial Event (Image Source: Shutterstock)

There is a clear relationship between your economic resources and your mental and physical health. Financial stress is a condition that comes as a result of a financial event. This event creates anxiety, worry, and a sense of doom. Usually, these feelings come with a physiological stress response. Financial stress can have a damaging impact on your health and can lead to: 

  • Insomnia 
  • Weight loss or gain 
  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Unhealthy coping methods like smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Headaches 
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Relationship issues 
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attacks and stroke 

Whether it’s paying for rent or escalating debt, more people are facing financial struggles. Like any stress, financial stress can take a massive toll on your mental and physical health. It can really affect your relationships and overall well-being. When you constantly have anxious thoughts about money, it can adversely affect your sleep, self-esteem, and quality of life.

Financial Planning: Five Strategies to Cope with Financial Stress

When you’re facing money problems, it’s tempting to keep it to yourself and go through it alone. It can feel uncomfortable talking about your finances. But so many people are struggling with money through no fault of their own. Speaking openly about your finances can show that you’re not alone and help put your situation into perspective. Here are five coping strategies to help you deal with financial stress.

How to Deal with Financial Stress

1. Make a Budget

Budgeting is one of the best tools you have in your money management toolkit. Although creating a budget seems overwhelming, it can help you feel more in control of your finances.

Your budget allows you to see what’s coming in and out each month. Track your spending, and decide where you’re going to spend your hard-earned dollars. Put some time aside to declutter your finances and organize your bank account. The first few months of sticking to a budget can be challenging. But, once you get into it, you often feel more in control of your money. In turn, this helps to reduce financial stress. 

2. Create Additional Income 

Creating additional sources of income and earning extra money can help to eliminate some financial stress. Whether you’re trying to dig your way out of debt or you’re saving for something specific, you can earn extra income even with a full-time job. To create additional income, you can try the following: 

Virtual personal assistant woman making video conference call.
Create Additional Sources Of Income And Dig Your Way Out Of Debt (Image Source: Shutterstock)
  • Start a side hustle. 
  • Create an online course.
  • Take part in paid surveys. 
  • Become a virtual assistant. 

3. Understand Your Debt Cycle 

An essential part of getting out of debt is understanding your debt cycle. A debt cycle occurs when you don’t have enough money to pay off your debt and repayments. You might even end up taking out new loans to consolidate your debt. When you are in this cycle, it becomes hard or impossible to save money and stop borrowing in the future.

If you can understand your debt cycle, you can start taking steps to avoid incurring more penalty fees. When you continually borrow money, it leads to higher costs and interest. The first step to getting out of debt is acknowledging your current situation. You need to know exactly where your finances stand so that you can make a plan. 

4. Seek Outside Help 

You don’t need to go through financial uncertainty alone. There are several financial resources that you can use to get help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, speak to a friend, or use a financial planning service.

Young married couple sitting with an adviser at desk in a guidance or professional business meeting planning their provision for one's old age.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help, Speak To A Friend, Or Use A Financial Planning Service (Image Source: Shutterstock)

If you’re struggling with financial stress and debt, you can contact credit counseling services. They will discuss your financial situation, develop a personalized plan, and help you start a budget.  

5. Identify Financial Stressors

Determine where money causes you stress. Take stock of your finances and identify your financial stressors. Write down ways that you can save money and manage your finances more effectively. Jotting down a plan and sticking to it can help to reduce stress. 

How to Deal with Stress

As you work on improving your financial health, it’s important to focus on general stress management techniques. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Sleep is essential for handling any type of stress, especially financial. 

7 Stress Management Techniques to Get You Back on Track

To manage and reduce stress, try the following tips: 

  • Eat a healthy diet. 
  • Practice mindfulness and meditation. 
  • Exercise regularly. 
  • Limit the use of alcohol and stimulants.
  • Incorporate yoga into your routine.

Deal with Financial Stress and Improve Your Finances

If you feel overwhelmed by money problems, you should share your worries with a trusted friend or family member. The more you talk about your finances, the less isolated and alone you feel. 

Understanding your financial situation can help you work to improve your finances and deal with financial stress. In general, resolving your financial problems requires small steps that tend to reap big rewards over time. It’s unrealistic that your money issues will disappear overnight. But you can take steps now to understand and control your finances to reduce stress and deal with the challenges you face.