Living paycheck-to-paycheck can place a huge physical, mental, and emotional strain on people. If you’ve ever struggled to pay for basic services or found yourself facing a mountain of debt, then you understand just how real financial anxiety is. In extreme circumstances, anxiety over money may even cause people to make poor choices that exacerbate their troubles. The key to getting out of debt is learning not just how to manage your finances, but your emotions as well. In this post, I’ll explain how I’ve coped with money-woes in the past, and offer five helpful tips for conquering financial fear:
Do you know what a fixed-rate mortgage is? Or how about a money-market account? Or what’s the difference between a stock and a bond? If you do, then fantastic. If not, then it’s probably a wise idea to educate yourself about basic financial terms and concepts. Doing this will help you follow any conversations you have with bankers, creditors, etc. Plus, by looking into basic financial terminology, you’ll also learn about fundamental best practices as well.
Talk it Out
Obviously, people in a financial bind should be willing to speak with money lenders and agents who can assist them. However, it’s also important to be willing to speak with your family members about money issues too. No, you don’t have to ask for charity, sympathy, or pity. But you should let your significant other as well as your closest family members know you’re having a tough time. At the very least, they’ll be able to offer moral support and cogent advice, which may very well prove more valuable than any loan possibly could.
It’s easy for financial obligations to quickly become overwhelming –– especially if you don’t know how to organize them properly. Make a list of all your bills and prioritize them. It’s okay to defer payment on inessential items from time to time in order to cover crucial expenses.
Pick up a Side Hustle
Renting out a spare room to travelers on Airbnb, signing up for a ride-share service like Uber, even freelance-writing blogs about EDTA tubes –– activities like these that help you bring in extra cash will provide both a monetary and psychological boost. Just remember that paying off debt can take a long time, so don’t beat yourself up if your side hustle doesn’t completely eradicate your money problems.
No one knows exactly what the future will hold. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make reasonable financial decisions for your future. Investing in conservative stock options, setting up a retirement fund, and creating an emergency fund are all great ways to give yourself peace of mind. Rather than playing fast-and-loose with your capital, a few sensible choices can remove a lot of the guesswork and anxiety associated with financial forecasting.