5 Impactful Ways to Overcome Financial Stress

overcome your financial stress

Financial stress is one of the biggest causes of poor sleep, anxiety and depression. If that sounds like you, you’re not alone. According to a 2023 PwC Employee Financial Wellness survey, 60% of full-time employees are stressed about their finances. Even among employees earning $100,000 or more per year, nearly 47% were stressed about their finances.

Job insecurity, mounting bills, unexpected medical expenses or car repairs, and repaying student loans can seriously affect your mental well-being. However, there are steps you can take to regain control and overcome the mental burden of financial stress. Here are five ways to try overcoming your financial stress

1. Create a budget and stick to it.

Monitoring how much money is coming in and going out each month can help you feel more in command of your finances. Track your spending, cut unnecessary expenses, and allocate funds towards essentials, savings, and debt repayment. Having a clear budget is the foundation for getting spending under control. Here are six tips to manage your money wisely.

2. Build an emergency fund.

One of the most effective ways to reduce money anxiety is to have a cash cushion to fall back on when unexpected expenses pop up. Having 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses stashed away can prevent you from relying on high-interest debt or falling behind on bills when emergencies arise. Learn how to start and build your emergency fund.

3. Pay down debt strategically. 

Carrying heavy debt loads is a leading cause of financial stress. Create a plan to efficiently pay off debts using the avalanche (pay off the highest-interest debt first) or debt snowball (pay off the debt with the smallest balance first) methods. Eliminate balances to free up cash flow and lift that mental burden. Learn more about the snowball and avalanche methods to pay off debt.

4. Increase your income.

Whether asking for a raise, taking on a side gig, or freelancing, finding ways to earn extra income can make a huge difference. Use the additional funds to pay down debt faster, build up your emergency fund, or increase cash flow for expenses.

5. Seek professional help.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling financially. Research nonprofit organizations and churches in your city for counselors and programs to help manage symptoms and overcome the cause of your financial stress. Even creditors may have assistance programs available, so call their hardship lines, explain your situation, and ask what options exist to help you get back on track.

The path out of financial stress isn’t quick, but being proactive and having a plan can go a long way towards alleviating the stress and anxiety that money troubles can bring. Try implementing these strategies to create a path toward better mental well-being.

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