6 Ways To Relieve Your Financial Stress

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Written By Berry Mathew

Looking around, you’ll see that the economic landscape is rather scary these days. Interest rates and the cost of living are on the rise. At the same time, there’s a good chance your income has been roughly the same for a while. Now, throw holiday gift giving into the mix. Add it all together, and you could be feeling a financial pinch.

For many people, financial stress is at an all-time high. Simply spending less money might seem like the best way to make some of it disappear. Fortunately, there’s more you can do to give yourself some monetary breathing room. Keep reading for six ways you can relieve your financial pressures.

1. Get a Credit Builder Card

If you haven’t already, find out what your current credit score is. It’s the number that controls loan approvals, interest rates, and even loan amounts. Having a bad score is like carrying a heavy weight around your neck. That can cause a lot of anxiety. Don’t worry, though. A credit builder card can help you put that weight down.

One way to raise a low credit score is to make timely credit card payments, but you may not qualify for a standard card. With a funds transfer or initial deposit, you can open a credit builder card and use it like a normal one. Be sure you make on-time monthly payments to demonstrate your reliability. Pay off the balance every month if you can to keep your debt low. Over time, your credit score will start to climb, and you’ll feel more financial breathing room.

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2. Create a Plan

Like most things in life, managing your finances is easier when you map out a plan. That means you should create a budget. Write down your monthly expenses. Use an effective bank or online banking platform. Look for places where you could spend less. If something isn’t necessary, consider cutting it out completely. Ultimately, make sure you aren’t spending more than you earn every month.

Take the time to think about saving money, too. If you can, find a way to set some cash aside every month. Socking away a few dollars here and there goes a long way to reducing your financial stress. It’s an extra monetary cushion that can be helpful when unexpected crises — a job loss or a dead vehicle — arise. 

3. Look for Ways to Earn More

Streamlining your budget can be helpful. Let’s be real, though. There’s only so much you can cut. Your essential expenses are, well, essential. Plus, making your budget too tight can actually stress you out even more. 

When you’ve trimmed your budget as much as possible, finding new income sources can help relieve some pressure. Ask to take on more shifts at work or see whether you’re eligible for overtime. Don’t be afraid to request a bump in pay — especially if you haven’t had a raise in a while. A side hustle like dog walking, tutoring, or delivering food can also bring in some extra cash.

4. Tackle Your Debt

Just like a bad credit score, loads of debt can weigh you down. The longer it lingers, the more stressed and mentally frazzled you can become. There’s only one way to make it disappear. You must make paying it down a priority. The faster you chip away at it, the less you’ll owe in interest payments, too.

Do you owe money on several credit cards or loans? Trying to juggle multiple payments can be stressful on its own. Consider consolidating your debt into a single payment. For example, if you own your home, look into a home equity line of credit. A HELOC can be a convenient way to bundle all that credit card debt. Plus, it may help you secure a lower interest rate. 

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5. Automate Your Payments

For some people, trying to keep tabs on due dates is enough to raise their blood pressure.  If you’re part of this group, there’s good news. There’s no need to set calendar alerts to remind you to send money out the door. Check with your bank — most will let you schedule automatic bill pay. It’s a great way to avoid that heart-sinking feeling over a missed due date. 

You can also use the same automated feature to grow your savings account. Decide how much you can save each month. Then, set up an automated transfer. It’s an easy way to consistently grow your nest egg.

There’s one big thing to keep in mind, though. Automated payments don’t mean you can ignore your bills altogether. You must be sure there’s enough money in your account when the bills come due. So take a peek at your bank balance every now and then to make sure you won’t overdraft your account. 

6. Seek Advice

Sometimes, financial stress becomes too much. If your monetary anxieties are overwhelming, it’s time to consider help. Ask around for recommendations for a good financial expert. They can work with you to create a plan to reclaim your solid financial footing.

A financial advisor can pinpoint your specific money challenges. They’ll identify solutions to the main sources of your financial stress as well. Based on their advice, you can learn effective money management skills. That knowledge can help you avoid future financial struggles.

With so much going on in your life, dealing with financial stress can be an unwelcome distraction. Finding a way to reduce some of the pressure can be a huge mental relief. To set yourself up for success, give these tips a try. You could soon have a lot more financial freedom.