Financial stability is intertwined into every aspect of our lives. It is the foundation upon which we build our personal lives, our careers, and our health. Money is usually a difficult topic to talk about among friends and family, which leaves us in the dark about how we should be managing our finances.
If you worry about money, you’re not alone. According to the American Psychological Association, money tops the list of the most significant sources of stress among Americans.
The U.S. Financial Health Pulse serves as an annual benchmark for how Americans are managing their financial wellness. The first report conducted by the Financial Health Network in 2018 found only 28 percent of Americans involved in the study are “financially healthy,” 55 percent are “financially coping,” and 17 percent are considered “financially vulnerable.”
By reducing financial stress and increasing financial proficiency, you and your team will be more focused and productive at work. Personal finance experts at The Balance offer a list of five strategies you can implement to better manage your financial stress:
Create a Budget
Although it sounds tedious and time-consuming, creating a solid budget is the best way to gain control of your finances. Budgets allow you to plan for your immediate expenses while setting aside income for your retirement and savings goals.
If you are an avid app user, there are plenty of budget-assistance tools available in the app store. Some charge small fees, do your research before downloading to avoid any surprises. Check out Nerd Wallet’s, “The 7 Best Budget Apps and Personal Finance Tools for 2019” to learn more.
Set Aside an Emergency Fund
Having a separate account for emergencies and unforeseen expenses will alleviate stress when the time comes. Start building the emergency fund slowly, whether it be $10 or $100 from each paycheck. Knowing you have extra money set aside in case the car breaks down will relieve stress.
Ask for Help
You are not alone on this journey. If you are struggling to create a budget or manage your spending, reach out for help. There are numerous resources including financial planners, credit counseling services, or basic money management classes to help you succeed. Sometimes talking to a friend or support group about your situation can help hold you accountable to the budget you created.
Observe and Adjust
The path to financial wellness is not a smooth, linear one. Observe your spending patterns over time and look for areas you may need to adjust. Once you’ve pinpointed the issue, it will be time to adjust. Remember, it’s a journey. Start with small steps and work up toward big changes.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s important to stay positive about your financial situation. This can be difficult, especially when you feel like you’re stuck in a rut. Track your progress to remind yourself small progress is still progress. Thinking positively about your situation will alleviate stress. Regular exercise is a great way to clear your head, reduce stress, and stay healthy. It’s easy to find activities that don’t cost a lot of money such as walking, running, biking, hiking, or swimming.
Most of us are not fluent in the world of finance, and that’s ok. There are numerous resources and strategies you can utilize to achieve your financial goals. Become a smart shopper by hunting for deals and avoiding impulse purchases. Give every hard-earned dollar a purpose. Set regular financial milestones to make the overall journey attainable.
Whatever strategies you decide to try, be sure to surround yourself with a network of family, friends, or co-workers who will help hold you accountable. By getting clear on your financial goals and reducing financial stress, you and your team will have more piece of mind to focus on work and family responsibilities.