Wednesday, April 13, 2022

8 Things You Can Do Today to Stop Stressing About Money

According to the APA (American Psychological Association), 72% of adults suffer from financial stress. Being anxious about finances is absolutely natural.

You will be thinking about it whether you have a lot of money or not. The stress could be related to rent, loans, savings, taxes, and much more. The financial stress makes you reconsider everything from crucial expenditures to occasional splurges. 

Whether you decide to spend money on groceries or decide to enjoy an exciting day in the escape room, it all leads to anxiety and stress. as well.

Monetary stress has too many downsides like poor sleeping habits, stress ulcers, decreased immunity, and depression, to name a few. Although advice cannot remove all the stress about money, some careful and quick strategies might come in handy while you are stressing about money.

1. Start a money journal

The first and foremost thing to do is to keep a journal. Any financial planning must start with a journal. According to a study, journaling your issues before getting into budget planning reduces stress by a lot. So, if you are stressed about your problems, put them down in words first. This will give you a clear idea of what your concerns are.

Next, go through the concerns one by one and categorize them based on priorities. For example, is your immediate concern paying off loans or balancing your credit score? Are you worried about emergency funds or retirement plans?? Note these concerns down from most important to least.

After categorizing them, make another list to break down the steps you need to handle the money accordingly. Finally, you can get down to business and start following your carefully laid down steps.

2. Plan a Budget

Planning a budget will reduce a lot of stress about money. This is also connected to journaling. Planning a budget will help sort your finances well. It will help you reanalyze a lot of expenses you make.

If you discover you are spending more than you earn or spending unnecessarily on something, budget planning is going to be your friend. Starting a budget will help you in tracking all those expenses and help reduce certain expenses so that you can save more or pay off those loans.

Start by fixing an ideal budget based on your earnings. Categorize your necessary and luxury expenses. Then you can carefully increase or decrease your input into different categories.

The best way to go is to download an app that keeps track of your budget and the expense you allotted to each category. Most of these apps will provide you with regular reminders and emails in case you fail to follow the budget.

3. Examine Your Accounts

When you are planning your budget, you must re-evaluate your expenses. And how to do that?? Look into your previous transactions. Sort them out into categories of necessity or luxury expenses. 

Monthly or yearly expenses should be sorted as well. You will be surprised by the number of people paying for subscriptions they forgot to cancel. So, take a look at your bank statements and transaction details from the last few months at least. 

Cancel the memberships or subscriptions you do not want anymore. Ask for refunds if some payments were made without confirmation from your side. 

Cancel any credit cards you were roped into getting. Be firm in your position and cancel all unnecessary expenses weighing you down. Confirm everything and keep all the receipts.

4. Close Old Accounts

Handling multiple accounts can be very confusing and lead to stress. So, closing an inactive bank account would be a wise idea. Having multiple accounts may also lead to an overdrawn account if you forget about it. 

An inactive account may also fall prey to fraudulent activities. So close any old account you do not use regularly or one you might not need again. Another task would be to set all your regular bills to autopay so that you do not have to worry about overdue payments.

5. Lower your bills

Try lowering some of your bills if you are too stressed about money. It will help reduce the immediate burden. According to Emily Guy Birken, author of End Financial Stress Now (2017), “Internet and cable service is an easy place to start because they’re used to be negotiated with,” so try lowering your internet or cable bill first. 

Try negotiating for a lower deposit or monthly rent if you are lucky enough to find an understanding landlord. If you have pending medical bills or similar social undertakings, try contacting the respective billing departments. If you are absolutely unable to pay certain bills, contact social welfare agencies.

6. Adjust Tax Withholdings

According to Emily Guy Birken, adjusting tax Withholdings at work will be one of the fastest ways of adding more money to your budget. Change your tax withholding status to a lower refund (if you do not already) to increase your regular paycheck.

For this, you need to talk to your organization’s HR department. They will be able to guide you through this process with additional help from the IRS (Tax withholding Estimator) calculator. The IRS calculator would be able to specify the changes you will need to make. Depending on your employer, the changes will start reflecting from the next paycheck itself.

7. Handle Your Credit Card Service

Contact your credit card provider for details about your credit score. A good credit score will benefit you while applying for loans or while managing old payments. Pay off overdue bills and look into the previous transactions as well. If you are in a bind, call your credit card service to ask for a lower interest rate. If you are a dependable customer (why do you need a good credit score, you see), they might consider such a thing.

A low-interest rate will inevitably prevent more interest from accumulating. It will help you pay off the balances faster and might even increase investment when you are financially more secure. This is sure to reduce some of your stress about money.

8. Manage Loan Payments

Student loans and mortgages are crippling millions and preventing them from gaining financial stability. If you are under federal loan payment, you can ask for a lower loan payment plan. If it is a student loan or mortgage plan, you can consider the IDR or Income-Driven Repayment plan. The Debt-to-Income Ratio takes into consideration the IDR and helps you pay your loans accordingly. Although, mortgages and student loans may have different regulations.

This will make a huge difference in your finances, although the repayment time period gets extended. It will act as a breather if you are stressing too much about money. But if you plan your budget properly and pay your taxes on time, it will not be a burden.

If you are planning on repaying some other loans quickly, you can also try the Debt Avalanche Method. This method basically means using leftover money (after monthly expenses) to pay off loans at a high-interest rate. This will decrease the overall time period required to pay off the loans. But this is a risky method and should not be tried without expert advice.

All of these are advice aimed to decrease your stress about money. You can start practicing some of these methods from today itself. But at the end of the day, do seek professional advice and plan for a better future.

Author Bio: Charlotte Lin is a content creator at She’s a passionate young woman, mother to an amazing nine-year-old, and an avid reader. Over the years, writing has helped her explore and understand the world as well as her own self. She loves to travel, meet new people, and spend quality time with her daughter. You can find her on LinkedIn.

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