According to surveys, up to 80 percent of Americans suffer from significant financial stress. There are lots of ways to work on improving your financial situation, but you also need to address the mental stress on you and your family.
Your first strategy to reducing stress should be to take an honest look at your financial situation. This may seem counterintuitive. After all, spending time analyzing the situation should increase your worry, right? Well, actually not knowing your financial state is the largest cause of anxiety. Denial is also a contributor. Not knowing if you can afford another car is different than knowing you cannot afford it. While the picture may not be pretty, at least you will know where you stand, and this is the only way to begin to improve things.
Next, consider which of your habits are leading to your financial state. This can be hard, as this often involves emotional issues related to money. For example, if you tend to lavish gifts on your friends, you may be trying to get them to like you more. If you buy a new car every couple of years, you may be insecure about how others see you. Examine how you emotionally connect to your money, and you may surprise yourself with how much is unnecessary spending.
So, once you are honest, know where you stand, and have confronted your financially unhealthy habits, it all comes down to budgeting. Your budget is your road map to reducing your financial stress. If you go off course, your stress will simply increase. Coming up with a realistic budget and sticking to it are hard, but the benefits are enormous. Not only will you be able to meet your financial obligations, but your stress and worry will be reduced.