Most of us underestimate how much money stress actually effects us.
The American Psychological Association conducts a stress survey every year and money is one of the top stressors every year. The 2018 survey found that 30% of youths are stressed about their family having enough money. Knowing what causes it would be a first step to addressing any money stress in your life.
Money clutter can be visible or invisible.
Let's talk about visible stress first. It could be stacks of unopened mail of past-due notices. Maybe it's statements from a bad investment you made a few years ago that you're keeping "just in case." Whatever your reasoning is, unless there is a logistical reason why you need to keep it, it's better to trash it.
I remember when I lost my job, I stopped opening my mail. "What's the point?" I thought. I will get to it when I get a job again.
First, a month passed by, then two, and before I knew it there was a pile of months worth of unopened mail that was waiting to be taken care of. Then every time it was time to tidy up, I would procrastinate and find other things to do because it felt like it was revisiting all my bad choices and facing the shame I felt in front of myself. Going through it all can be an intimidating task, almost like asking a baby to skip crawling altogether and start walking.
Earlier this year, my advice was featured in an article called "How to KonMari Your Finances" that includes how to get rid of some of the paper clutter than can be causing some anxiety around finances for you.
Now let's talk about the invisible money stress. It could be wondering "How will I make rent next month?" or having too many credit cards to keep track of. Being responsible is a great thing, but making these worries a constant mind-gum is no way to live either.
One thing can help you with this burden is talking to someone about your stress, because I can assure you that you aren't alone. Roughly 78% of workers are living paycheck to paycheck. If you talk to your spouse or maybe a trusted friend, it can help you figure out what your options are. Perhaps they have been through this themselves and have some useful tips.
Something that will help you find peace of mind is starting a monthly budget, a budget allows you to see where you are today and strategize how to get to your goals.
If you are experiencing a financial setback, are avoiding creditors' letters and calls, if you speak to them they are less likely to cause as much stress in your life. You may find it helpful to have a script ready that you can follow to talk to a creditor you owe money to.
If you need a tip on how to work on your money stress, here's a link to my calendar, let's schedule a quick call 🤑