Can you think of just one day in the last 2 weeks that you did not worry about money, think about finances, make a purchase, check your credit and bank balances or stress over retirement? If you cannot you are not alone, I too am guilty as charged. When we stress over our finances we being merely human tend to get drained over it and begin to slip on our good financial habits. These slips can range from splurging out on an expensive dinner or buying something you’ve been wanting for awhile or putting off paying that credit card bill. These “fixes” we use when stressed out over money ultimately hurt our wallets and bank accounts and make matters worse. When we are financially stressed out it is easy to make excuses to allow us to make poor choices when it comes to our finances, and simply put sometimes it does feel good, but that feeling is fleeting it only lasts a moment then we are faced with the poor choices repercussions afterwards.
Did you know that besides hurting our finances that there is now evidence that supports the theory that worrying about finances can slow down your cognitive functions? A study by American Association for the Advancement of Science’s “Science” journal points to just that. It showed that those in the study lost the equivalent of 13 IQ points and had the same exact effects of a person who had suffered from a sleepless night.
There are things you can do to ease that financial stress. You need to counter all the financial stress in your life in productive ways versus counter productive and financially destructive ways. These methods below have worked for myself and others and you too can make use of them starting today. Think of the advice below as more than simply advice but new ways of living to help you achieve financial success and freedom from stress, it’s a way of life more than a collection of simple tips.
One thing you can do starting this week is to make one day a week a no spend day. No eating out, no cup of java from the local coffee shop. While many expenses are necessary we often just spend way to much. Taking one day a week to avoid spending at all will teach us resolve and cut down on our spending. Having one day a week not having to look at your budget or bank balance is also liberating and helps us to avoid financial stress.
The second thing you can start doing right now is to start paying off your bills right away. Bills have a habit of piling up. Interest gets tacked on. Late fees if we pay late, plus the entire time more bills pile up adding to our debt and before we know it we are staring at a pile of debt. Waiting until the bills due date can also put you at risk of being late on the bill and having your credit dinged. Pay your monthly bills or set up auto pay for as many bills as you can. Budget them in so that when the bills hit they get paid the same day if at all possible.
The last thing to do is to quit looking at debt balances every day. Your debts will not go down by looking at them, instead all you are going to do is to add worry about the debt or debts. Make a plan to pay the debt down. If you can come up with a plan to make extra money to pay down those debts but do not stare at the balances you owe every day. If you have a good budget in place and work on paying down that debt it will fade away in due time.
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