Its a good morning.
I woke up strong and feeling refreshed. Got set to work, filled with thoughts of running the day. The big picture and quest to become financially free never skipping my mind. Sometimes, I feel uncertain of what tomorrow holds but I am very hopeful for the best. I constantly keep my psycho-motor in motion by a motivational book authored by the likes of Stephen Covey, John Mason, Deolu Akinyemi (my Mentor) and most importantly any Holy Book (Bibles and the writings of the Saints)… I got to office and stumbled upon the post below. It reliefs the stress to my quest of Financial Freedom, I know the answer but the how is really demanding. My previous post summarises the how.
- “Debt is my biggest source of money stress. I owe so much money that it keeps me awake at night.” Jide – Architect
- “I stress about money because I haven’t got any!” Omowunmi – Receptionist
- “Looking for money gives me stress. As a country, we have money, yet we are all suffering and still lack. The major cause of my daily stress is what I have to go through to have money. John sells Recharge Cards and Engine Oil
- “My biggest help in alleviating money stress is my husband, because he and I always talk about money and about both our short and long-term goals. Over the past year we have been educating ourselves about money and looking for ways to cut back on our expenses and save” Sammy – Teacher
- “…and when one closes in the evening, you usually feel pain, not only because of the search for money, but also because of the situation of the political, social, economic situation of the country”. Israel – Real Estate Consultant
A sample of opinions about money and stress show that financial worries rank as a major cause of stress. This can lead to feelings of insecurity, panic, fear, and anxiety, which ultimately result in health problems and increased medical expenses; the vicious cycle continues.
What aspect of your finances stresses you the most?
Try and identify what it is about your financial life that stresses you the most and then take deliberate steps to do something about it. Is it your debt that is out of control, are you having trouble paying your bills or is the rising cost of education or rent causing much concern? Are there more frequent arguments with your spouse over finances?
By taking definite steps each day towards your goal, you will reduce your stress. If it is debt related, then your priority should be to focus on repaying the most expensive debt first. As always your plan should not be vague or you won’t have the sense of purpose you need to achieve it. It should be as precise as possible; specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and very importantly, time-bound.
Bills, bills and more bills
Bills always seem to arrive at the wrong time. To eliminate the stress of bills, make an effort to settle them as they come in. Are you still paying bills the old-fashioned way? Nowadays there is no excuse for dealing with your most routine bills manually. Several banks offer an online payment system where you can settle your bills without having to issue cheques or carry cash and some service providers have made it more convenient for you to pay your bills through some bank websites.
All you have to do is to activate your internet banking facility, log on to the banks website and set up automatic payments online so that your bills are settled electronically. This frees up valuable time each month and ensures that your bills are always paid promptly and without the stress of being cut off if you forget or are out of town. Be sure to maintain a cushion in your account so that you always have enough to fund the bill payments as they come in.
Do you have a financial cushion?
One of the greatest causes of financial stress is where there is an unexpected emergency that catches you completely unprepared. If you don’t have any cash at all to take care of such expenses or an emergency, you could be forced to liquidate assets such as your stocks at a loss. Do you have an emergency fund for up to six months of expenses in place? Build up some cash savings to give you a cushion and some peace of mind.
Money and relationships
A leading cause of stress in relationships is money; indeed research shows that a major cause of divorce is money. Many couples snipe about bills, frivolous spending and bad investments. Often money matters are not discussed and are left to fester on the back burner until there is a problem. Try to talk about money on a regular basis without blame and in a non-threatening and constructive way. If you are in a relationship, there is so much to talk about that will create common ground for building a financial plan together; this ranges from spending patterns, bills, debt, income, the children’s education, a comfortable retirement, the care of elderly parents, a travel budget and so on.
Taking out even one hour each month to assess where you are as a family and discuss looming expenses will make a huge difference. Even if you haven’t been doing this before now, it is a good time to start to put it into practice. If the family reviews financial goals as a team there is a much better chance of these goals actually being achieved.
Stay on top of your finances
Develop a habit of keeping track of your expenses. By jotting down your daily expenses in a journal for a period, you will have a better idea about where your money is going and you can then identify areas to cut back. It is that loss of control over your finances that causes stress; to regain a sense of control, you need to be more involved. Take some time say monthly to review your finances; go through bank statements, investment reports; you owe it to yourself to keep abreast of this most important aspect of your life.
No one is immune from financial stress, even those who have a lot of it. Those who are struggling for money wonder how they’re going to make ends meet while those that do have it, whilst they may not have to worry about the next rent, often have substantial sums invested and watch fortunes rise and fall with the vagaries of the markets. It is not possible to transform your finances overnight; but by committing to make the necessary changes and with discipline, you will be surprised how much progress you can achieve in a relatively short period of time.
What do you think?
- How To Create A Spending Plan (debtconsolidationusa.com)
- Budgeting for Your Peace of Mind (quicken.intuit.com)
- Homework to Homeowner: How to Repair Credit Before Buying Property After Leaving School (creditrepair.com)
- Stop Money From Wrecking Your Marriage (businessinsider.com)
- Daily Stresses of the Anxious Mind (theroaringtwenties.net)
- Solid Tips For Balancing Your Personal Finances. (finance-411.com)
- Why you stress over money – and how to stop (systematicsavingsbank.wordpress.com)
- Use These Tips To Help With Your Personal Finances (trustedlendingcompany.wordpress.com)
- Financial Stress-Relief Advice From Around the Web (alliedca.wordpress.com)
- Stress Free Debt Relief (debtconsolidationusa.com)