Ii checking your monthly bank statement gives you the same feeling as before a big fall on a roller coaster, you are not alone, in fact you are part of the majority.
In a national survey of more than 1,500 residents of the United States commissioned by Discover personal loans®, only 30 percent of people reported having no anxiety about their finances in 2021, leaving a huge percentage of people feeling hungry. *
Why is this important? “Money can seriously affect a person’s stress level, which can ultimately lead to mental and physical health issues,” says Carrie Casden, president of Summit Financial Management and certified financial coach. The negative effects of stress have been well documented, but with so many people experiencing stress induced by their financial situation, there has to be a way to fight it … right?
According to Matt Lattman, vice president of Discover Personal Loans, the best way to combat financial stress is to tackle it head-on. “Money is stressful, and whether you’re dealing with an unexpected expense or planning for retirement, it can often seem easier to avoid thinking about it,” he says. “But by spending time practicing things like budgeting or keeping an eye on your credit scores and account balances, you’ll be ready for challenges as they arise – and be. ready to take on challenges empowers people. “
If being financially self-sufficient seems like something you might like to sign up for, keep reading for some nuggets of information from these financial experts on how to get started.
Read on for more expert tips for dealing with financial stress.
Explore your options
Knowledge is power, so understanding all the methods available to you to improve your financial well-being is a key first step towards reducing financial stress.
Lattman has a few tips to get the ball rolling: Check out credible personal finance websites (like the Discover the Personal Loan Resource Center) or make an appointment with a financial advisor or debt advisor. From any of these resources, you can get tips on negotiating your cell phone bill (did you know that was one thing?), Setting up a payment plan for medical costs or the interruption of subscriptions that you do not use (such as gym memberships or streaming services).
Or, if you’re looking for ways to pay an unexpected expense or consolidate high interest debt like credit card debt, you may want to consider getting a personal loan (no, loans aren’t just for college. and at home).
“Personal loans, like those available through Discover, offer lump sum funds that can be used to pay off higher interest loans directly or to pay for an unforeseen expense that your savings cannot cover,” says Lattman. “Because a personal loan often has a lower interest rate than credit cards (at least after any ‘promotional’ period), this solution could help relieve anxiety as it could save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars in interest. “
Set financial intentions + goals
You can automatically associate “financial goals” with “saving for retirement,” which is certainly a good idea, but Lattman and Casden agree that setting financial goals doesn’t have to be such a simple exercise.
“You might already have long-term goals in mind, like saving $ 1 million for retirement or setting aside $ 250 a month to build an emergency fund,” Lattman said. “Short-term goals are also important – maybe having enough for an extra dinner each month, being able to pay off debt sooner, or increasing the percentage you add to your 401K. Once you’ve established these intentions, you can refer back to them regularly to keep your finances (and peace of mind) on track.
“Make sure that every financial action you take every day is in line with your financial plan and represents your core values as a person. “
Casden takes this definition of intentions a step further by turning it into a mindfulness exercise: “Make a list of your values and create a financial plan around those values,” she says. “Make sure that every financial action you take every day is in line with your financial plan and represents your core values as a person. “
When you know your financial decisions are aligned with your values, you can be happy that you are directing your money where it is. you want it to go. This will help you feel more in control of your finances and, in turn, reduce stress.
Start a financial wellness ritual
Much like your weekly yoga practice or face mask session, allocating time dedicated to reviewing your financial situation – the details of your expenses are included – certainly counts as personal care.
Hear us out: this might not sound like your ideal afternoon, but sitting down and crunching the numbers will allow you to create a budget that works for you and your lifestyle. And once you know exactly where your money is going, you can rest (i.e. the opposite of stress) that you have enough for everyone.
Casden recommends breaking down your monthly expenses as granularly as possible, with your fixed expenses (like recurring bills and necessities) at the top and your discretionary expenses (or your “fun money”) at the bottom. “This will help you determine if you have a “spending too much” or a “need to earn more” problem, as these are two very different things that are often misinterpreted, ”she says.
Once you’ve set your budget, you can jot down these stress-free recordings on a regular basis (weekly or bi-weekly, the choice is yours!) To make sure you’re on the right track. “Whatever you do, plan it, repeat it, and choose something that works for you and what you know you can do,” Lattman says. Financial well-being at your fingertips.
* ABOUT SURVEY: All figures are from an online client survey from September 13-27, 2021. A total of 619 Discover personal loan debt consolidation clients were asked about their loan most recent Discover staff. All results at a 95% confidence level. Respondents opened their personal loan between January and July 2021 for debt consolidation purposes. Agree includes respondents who “tend to agree” and “strongly agree”.
Top image: Emma Kim/ Getty Images