Money is responsible for a lot of things: our homes, our clothing, our food, our entertainment. But for most of us, money is also responsible for our biggest source of stress. Financial stress can weigh on our emotional, mental and even physical wellness. There are small steps to combat this looming pressure, even without the ability to magically generate more income.
Save, save, save
It may seem counter-intuitive to put money away when you’re up against a lot of bills, expenses or debt. But putting away a little bit in the present could help you feel more secure in the future.
Pay more attention
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You may feel like you spend all your time thinking about your finances, but how much time do you actually spend getting to know the ins and outs of your spending and saving? If you make it a habit to check in with your accounts and your budget daily, you’ll live in constant awareness of what you’re able to spend and what you’re not. That will save you from impulse purchases in the long run.
Accept your means
When it comes to extra spending, a tried-and-true method of living within your means is to ask yourself the question, “Could I pay for this with cash?” If the answer isn’t yes, you can’t afford it. Obviously, you will have to determine what your own line is, but once you define what you can comfortably afford after your expenses are taken care of, hold yourself accountable to not overspend.
In a world full of networking and instant connection, there’s no reason you should be tackling your financial goals all alone. There are plenty of opportunities to get organized and be on top of your money through budgeting apps, online money management and automatic bill pay. Plus, there are smart ways to get financial advice from certified professionals locally.
Finally, in the middle of your financial stress, don’t let it become financial shame. There are very few people who can honestly say they’ve never known what it means to feel overwhelmed by money. The most important thing to remember is you can get back in control with the right moves and tools.
Kat’s Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, visit http://communityamerica.com.