Tough financial times can usher in a wave of stress. Here, we present ten strategies to assuage your unease by channelling your focus on the controllable aspects of your life.
1. Prioritise Personal Well-being: Adequate nutrition, sufficient sleep, reserved time for leisure, and learning relaxation techniques are critical to your overall health and wellness.
2. Recognise Your Stress Indicators: Money-related worries can instigate stress. You may notice changes in sleep or eating habits, recurring headaches, irritability, anger, concentration difficulties, and depressive feelings. If you struggle to manage stress independently, seek professional assistance.
3. Strengthen Community Bonds: Lean on your friends and family for emotional sustenance and brainstorm cost-saving ideas. Assist each other during financial uncertainties by sharing emotional support and resources. Consider bulk buying and splitting the cost, sharing household expenditures, or even bartering services, such as exchanging child pick-up duties for grocery shopping.
4. Refine your Budget: Scrutinise your budget and eliminate superfluous expenses. Monitor your spending and eliminate non-essentials like dining out, paid television, or recreational costs. Economise in grocery shopping with weekly specials and more affordable brands. If any funds remain, direct them towards debt repayment and an emergency fund. Financial advisors suggest maintaining an emergency fund equivalent to 3 to 6 months’ living expenses. Although daunting initially, begin with smaller contributions today and aim for the recommended sum in the long term.
5. Engage with Creditors: If debt management becomes arduous, proactively communicate with your creditors. Inform them about your situation and enquire about alternative payment plans, interest rate reductions, or payment deferment options. Most creditors will cooperate when you demonstrate genuine intent to meet your obligations, even if it’s a minimal monthly payment. However, calculate your affordability before such discussions to avoid over-committing.
6. Maintain Composure: Resist the urge to make impulsive decisions about long-term retirement, investment, and savings plans based on temporary emotional upheaval. Consult professional financial advice before deciding on asset liquidation or fund transfers.
7. Speak with your Manager: If financial stress affects your work performance or productivity, candidly discuss your concerns and potential solutions with your manager. Also, incorporate stress-reducing activities at work, such as deep breathing exercises during breaks or brief walks outside your workspace.
8. Draw from Past Experiences: Recall how you’ve surmounted previous challenges. What strategies proved effective? How can you apply those tactics now? Merely reminiscing about your problem-solving abilities can instil a sense of control over your current predicament.
9. Utilise Available Resources: Leverage resources provided by government agencies and local community organisations if you need help to meet housing, food, utility, medical, or other expenses.
10. Don’t Hesitate to Connect: Be bold in sharing your concerns with a trusted friend or family member. A heart-to-heart conversation can significantly alleviate your mental burden.
To discuss your financial needs, contact BDH Leaders. We are here for all your financial needs and are always here to support you.