Are you stressed about money? You’re in good company – it’s a common thing! Many folks respond by avoiding thinking about money altogether. There are more productive ways to handle the stress and simultaneously re-arrange the power relationship between you and your money.
5 Actions to take if you’re stressed about money:
1. Crunch your numbers. Empower yourself with an accurate, not fear-based, picture of your financial situation. I can’t tell you how often my money coaching clients would experience a great sense of relief when they actually crunched the numbers – both the good (assets) and the bad (debts). Once they clearly understood where they were at, they felt more grounded and could think more clearly. Extra good news: almost always the picture was brighter than they’d thought!
2. Put yourself in charge! Stress is often a result of feeling out of control over something that matters. If you you are held back from this either by your own thinking (I’m no good with money) or by a partner (she won’t let me), even taking incremental steps will help lower your stress.
3. Prioritize. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to solve everything. Choose your top three (maximum!) priorities that you want to address over the next year.
4. Act! You’ve decided upon your top priorities. Now spend at least 15 minutes each evening and at least 1 hour each weekend planning (and scheming if need be!) how you will address the root causes of your financial anxiety. With the plans laid, consistently act on them until you are satisfied. These could range from plans to increase your income to making the phone call to the cable company with a repayment plan to a conversation with your family about needed changes.
5. Give yourself a break. It’s a rare person who doesn’t have some significant money issues at some point in their life. Don’t beat yourself up over it! Do what is in your power to do, then carry on with your life and enjoy family, friends, whatever good things are in your life that encourage and delight you.