Given the ‘way above the average’ lifestyle that we live in, keeping tabs on your budget and spending are things of high priority. You have a few bills to pay in a couple of days, another handful of household expenditures that need serious attention and this is also the month where you finally get to decide if you can afford to upgrade that outdated cell phone of yours. One can surely be intimidated by the clutter. All this thought may not let you sleep at night, and while you try hard, your mind veers back to the topic of money. Before you know it, you’re in a full-blown 3 am panic during which you lose sleep and get anxious. What begins as a passing thought to remember to pay the bills can suddenly leave you worried about how you’d pay those bills if you lost your job or how to make your budget stretch for the month. If the topic of money leaves you worried, there may be a deeper reason behind your stress. Financial problems can cause emotional distress and if it’s not checked on time, they may have a really bad impact on your mental health. But there are lots of things you can do to help yourself if you’re in such a difficult situation.
Count your positive aspects, literally.
Focusing on the good aspects of your finances instead of the negative issues is a good start to keep your anxiety at bay. Of course, simply thinking positively won’t magically pay your bills or stretch your budget, but it’s a start off to calm your fears. It can also redirect you to your financial strengths, which could lead to solutions to some of your problems. Grab a handy app or even the old school notepad and start listing the positive aspects of your money management skills. Perhaps you have a good job, are regularly saving up money into a separate bank account and have religiously signed up for life insurance plans. All this are positive aspects indicating you are progressing in the right direction and there’s always scope for improvement. That way your finances will get a heads up.
Review your budget, every quarter.
When you get midnight stresses about finances, it often means your personal budget is out of order. It can be anything from overspending on certain categories to not properly planning your purchases. Reviewing your budget every three months is essential as expenses, are rarely constant. Start off with reviewing your bills and expenditures and make sure all your numbers are accurate by ensuring that the bills match up with your budget. Of course, things can fluctuate from month to month because of repairs, health emergencies and other events but apart from that your bills shouldn’t exceed beyond a certain limit. Try to keep a check on your phone bills, travel or weekend expenses to restore balance to your budget.
Make a separate emergency fund.
The unexpected events like car repair, phone crashed or health issues can occur anytime without giving you any heads-up. On top of it, if fear of the unknown has you second-guessing your financial plans, it’s a good time to evaluate your emergency fund – savings that remain untouched, except for emergency purposes. If you haven’t started an emergency fund yet, begin with a goal of saving up just one-fourth of your earnings. Then, as you continue contributing, work your way up to at least six months’ worth of living expenses. Knowing that you have money set aside for emergencies can help you rest much easier at night.
Seek financial advice
If you are confused with how much to invest in tax saving or how much should you save for retirement, it’s time to take an appointment with a financial advisor. Making an appointment with a financial advisor can help calm your fears and ensure you’re on the right path for your financial goals. The process is very much like seeing a therapist – but for your money and the results will be quite handy.
Staying up at night and worrying about money won’t magically make cash appear in your bank account, or help you decide how to save for your retirement. Instead, learning how to calm your fears and feel confident about your financial choices is a matter of education and action.