Finances have got to be the hardest part of adulting. And just cause you work in the finance industry people tend to think you’ve got it all figured out. WRONG. When financial stress does hit you, it can affect every other part of your life including relationships, diet, social life and just surviving on a day to day basis. There are however a few things you can do to manage your finances and reduce the stress around them.
Start with why
I always ask myself why? Simon Sinek’s “Start with why” isn’t really a book about finances, at least directly. But reading it I got an idea that has helped me understand my financial stress. Firstly, you may find yourself in a situation where there are too many wants but not enough money. When you’re in this situation every want feels like a need but that is not always the case. So, I go through all my “needs” to see why I “need” them. Sometimes it gives clarity and you really that your list of 15 needs has 11 wants. Secondly, it’s always a good idea to find out why you ended up in the situation you’re in to start with. You know, just so you don’t repeat.
Keep it real
Be true to yourself before you are true to anyone else. This always helps me think really decide whether I want to do something because it makes me happy or because jane looked really cool on Insta when she did it 😒. It’s a normal thing to feel a little green with envy but in most cases, you don’t want the thing you want the feeling it gives you. Or at least the feeling you think it will give you.
Sometimes you just need to look at your current money behavior and realize there’s a lot of stuff in there that’s not serving you. Seriously. I used an expenses tracker app for 3 months and I was mortified. I was ready to fight myself! There was a lot of unplanned and frivolous expenditure going on and the worst part is I didn’t even know it. Once you realize how much those once in a while items are hurting you will behave a little more deliberately.
After you rationalize you have to prioritize. Unless you have truckloads of money coming it’s likely that you can’t afford to do everything. So, if you have to choose, choose what matters first. See, the two devils I mentioned above meant I was spending money on silly (ok, not always silly cause a girl needs her Moscato) things and not having enough money for some things that were really important. So, I learned to prioritize the important.
Deal with Root causes
Sometimes you just don’t have enough. Sad truth but that’s just it. Before you go and buy a lottery ticket to take a 1 in 5000000 (that’s million but it may as well be squillion) of winning you need to address the root causes of the lack of money. The lack of money in itself is a symptom and not a cause. Perhaps you don’t have skills people are willing to pay for, maybe they aren’t packaged right, or nobody has given you a chance to prove your worth. So, upskill, start your own small business, get some experience. Just work on the cause and not the symptom.
I’ve never met a person who had too much money. Ok, I’ve never met a millionaire or billionaire but really feeling like you want more money seems to be normal.to me. When you feel stressed, particularly about finances just remember to ask why you are really stressed. Hopefully, it’s something you can do something about and change your life or at least your financial stress.