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Got Money Stress? 5 Ways to Cope With Financial Problems

Stressing about your financial problems will only make your money woes worse! These five ways to cope with money stress are from psychologists and financial experts — and they’ll help whether you’re dealing credit card debt, possible mortgage or home foreclosure, job loss, or investment mistakes.

Before the tips, a quip:

“Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. And it will leave you unfulfilled.” ~ Barack Obama.

Life is about more than making a buck – and life is too short to buckle under financial stress. The following money tips are from psychologists, life coaches, and financial planners; they’ll help you achieve your financial goals.  To learn more about creating financial abundance, read EnJOY Freedom From Financial Stress

Got Money Stress? 5 Ways to Cope With Financial Problems

1. Avoid the media, which increases finance-related stress. “Eliminate or minimize watching the news and reading newspapers,” says psychologist Dr Joseph Cilona, PhD. “It’s important to remember that even respected news sources are not always giving a truly balanced and accurate portrayal of the reality out there, particularly when it comes to job hunting and the recession.”  He explains that too much news consumption can make it harder for you to maintain a positive outlook, stay motivated, and keep your energy level up. To cope with financial stress if you’re job hunting, substitute time spent on the news for job search related websites, researching job resources and networking groups.

2. Take action towards solving your financial problems. “Action takes the edge off worry. Putting a plan on paper gives many people relief from the ‘what ifs’,” says certified financial planner Rebecca Schreiber. “Plan on paper what you will do if you lose your job (names and numbers of placement agencies and companies you would like to work for) or get hit with major medical expenses.” To solve your money troubles, she recommends making a pact with friends to keep conversations about personal finance problems short and to the point. Don’t ignore your money problems or financial goals, but don’t obsess about them.

3. Assess your financial reality. “Are you actually experiencing financial issues yourself or have you gotten caught up in the culture of fear?” asks life coach Kirsten Mahoney, founder of Insight Out Life Coaching. “Check your current income situation – is it secure as far as you can tell? Sure, we never really know what is going to happen, but according to your best judgment is your income secure?  Also check your current spending habits. Are you spending within your means? To do this measure, your income against your outgoing bills. Are you able to pay your bills every month on time? Do you sometimes have some left over for savings? Do you have a savings plan?” To cope with financial stress, Mahoney’s money tip involves being realistic about your situation.

4. Focus on your financial successes. “Make a list of the things that you have done right with your money recently, such as  paying your mortgage/rent, not using your credit card this week, eating dinner at home instead of out, etc,” says Danny Kofke, author of How to Survive (and Perhaps Thrive) on a Teacher’s Salary. This tip for coping with money stress involves focusing on anything positive that you’ve done with your money. You’ll feel more in control, and better about the things you’ve done right!

5. Stop fortune telling about your future money problems. “Fortune telling is predicting the future negatively and emotionally reacting as if it is already happening or it is imminent,” says psychologist Elizabeth R. Lombardo, PhD, creator of Control Stress For Good. “For example, people are often not worried about the here and now, but rather what they think will happen. If they are working, they are fearful they will lose their job.  If they have foreclosed on their home, they are emotionally reacting as if they will be homeless forever.  If they want to retire at a certain age, they are upset they will probably not be able to do that.” Her money tip is to find the balance between living in the moment and preparing for the future.

For more tips on coping with financial problems, read How to Eat Healthy When You’re on a Low Income.

If you have any thoughts on these ways to cope with money stress, please comment below…

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2 thoughts on “Got Money Stress? 5 Ways to Cope With Financial Problems”

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I’m glad eliminating news sources works for you, Imee — you’re right, it does add to the weight of financial stress. Not watching the news or reading newspapers also frees time to do things you enjoy, or solve your problems (like you said).

    I rarely watch the news, because it’s so depressing! It’s one thing to be up on current events, but to listen to the ongoing stream of terrible things that happened recently is just too much for me.

    Thanks for your comment!

  2. The first tip you mentioned–eliminating news sources like the TV and newspapers–has done wonders for me. It’s depressing enough to know you’re in debt (or any sort of problem) so why add to the weight you’re carrying. It makes you concentrate on your own problems, in my opinion.