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Money Problems and Stress: How to Manage Both

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It seems like money problems and stress go hand-in-hand. It’s hard to have one without the other. So what’s a person with money problems AND stress supposed to do? How can you manage your finances while trying to manage your stress level too? I’m going to give you some advice on how to not only manage both, but to balance both in your life.

Money is a leading source of stress for Americans, according to a 2013 survey by the American Psychological Association. In the survey, 71% of people cited money as the major significant source of stress in their lives. Money (71%), work (69%) and the economy (59%) continue to be the most commonly reported sources of stress.

Here are some tips and advice on handling money problems:

  1. Set up a realistic budget to find out exactly where your money is going every month. List everything that comes in and goes out to get an overview of your current financial situation. Use free online budgeting tools like Online Budget Advisor to help you: http://www.onlinebudgetadvisor.com/
  2. Once you have a good picture of what your finances really look like, you can start to pin-point some areas that you can make cut-bucks or free up some money.
  3. Get free help from a reputable Non-Profit Credit Counseling Agency. The certified credit counselors can offer free advice, tips, suggestions, resources, and other things to help you manage your money and personal finances.
  4. Ask for help from friends and family. Whatever you do, Don’t isolate yourself or “cut yourself off from the world” so to speak. Let other people in and let them know how difficult things are, and realize that you’re not alone in this.
  5. Set up an Emergency Fund as soon as possible. One of the most stressful things is when something expensive breaks or needs fixed, like a hot water heater or the car. If you don’t have an emergency fund set up to cover these, then you’ll be faced with a lot of stress trying to figure out where that money is going to come from.
  6. Find something positive about your life every single day and focus on that. Yes, the bad stuff may still be there for now, but if you dwell on it, you will become depressed and super stressed out. Find the “silver lining” and smile, you can work through this!

Here are some tips and advice on handling stress:

  1. Perform diaphragmatic or deep breathing exercises every single day. Try doing some yoga or meditation to help relieve stress. Regularly exercising, and physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress.
  2. Eat a healthy diet and make sure it’s a balanced diet as well. Having an unbalanced diet can cause mood swings and bring on stress headaches. It’s important to make sure that your body is getting the vitamins and nutrients that it needs.
  3. Reduce your caffeine and sugar intake. Both of these things have been linked to stress, headaches, heart attacks, and worse. Try to cut back on both if you can’t completely cut them out of your diet.
  4. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs to help battle your stress. If you have an addiction to any of these then, you will feel more stressed out as you break the addiction, but once you do, you’ll realize that your stress level has decreased significantly.
  5. Make sure that you get enough sleep every single night. Sleep deprivation can also be a huge cause of stress and other health problems. Try to get a solid 8-9 hours of sleep every night. Here are some great tips on catching more Zzzz’s tonight: http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-tools-tips/healthy-sleep-tips
  6. Make time for listening to relaxing music, creating or looking at art, or other hobbies that help relax and distract you. Some stress relievers may include video games, reading a book, cooking, or playing with your cat or dog.
  7. If you are unable to get your stress under control then, you may need to consult with a therapist or psychologist about your issues. Seeking professional help may be the only cure, and there’s nothing wrong with getting professional help!

You can learn to manage both your money and your stress without having a breakdown. Just take it day-by-day and in little steps. Cultivate positive relationships and good habits. Cut out the negative things and bad habits to turn your life around. We may not be able to control what happens to us in life, but we CAN control how we react to it! I know that it will get better, and there’s always a positive side to everything that happens in life.

If you need help managing your money, or help with getting out of debt, give us a call today! The phone call is totally free and completely confidential. You can talk to one of our certified credit counselors. We are a National Non-Profit credit counseling agency that’s been helping people since 1968, and we can help you too!

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Author: Lauralynn Mangis
Lauralynn is the Online Marketing Specialist for AdvantageCCS. She is married and has two young daughters. She enjoys writing, reading, hiking, cooking, video games, sewing, and gardening. Lauralynn has a degree in Multimedia Technologies from Pittsburgh Technical College.