Financial Stress is Very Real – Here’s How To Beat It

Are you familiar with financial stress? If you’re like the average American, then you are. It doesn’t matter if you have an annual income of $30,000 or $300,000, we’ve all been conditioned to stress over money and it’s taking a toll on millions of people.

Learning how to get past this can prove to be very beneficial.

Financial Stress is Commonplace

Research shows that roughly 75 percent of Americans experience some financial stress, while nearly one-quarter of people experience extreme financial stress. And while overall levels of stress have declined since the American Psychological Association first released its annual stress survey in 2007, this doesn’t necessarily mean we’re getting better.

Those in lower income brackets – specifically those making less than $50,000 per year – are facing more challenges now than they did 10 years ago. Salaries have remained fairly stagnant, while the cost of living has gone up. This disproportion means there’s less room in the average household budget for discretionary spending.

“Lower-income Americans reporting financial stress of 8 or more on a 10-point scale are distinctly more likely than lower-income Americans with low financial stress to spend excessive time watching TV or surfing the Internet, and they are more than twice as likely to overeat, drink or smoke,” Kelley Holland writes for CNBC.

Then there’s the constant emotional stress that finances put on people. This burden leads to high blood pressure, lower rates of physical activity, and weakened immune systems. It’s a terrible situation and something must be done to help the millions of Americans who feel crippled by the weight of financial problems.

How You Can Beat Financial Stress

There are dozens of different ways to beat financial stress, but one of the most effective strategies is also the simplest: get organized. When you organize your finances and understand how much is coming in, how much is going out, where it’s going, and how your money is working for you, everything else seems to make sense. There’s peace in clarity – here are some ways you can get better organized:

1. Understand How Much You Make

It’s amazing how many people don’t know what they make. Sure, they can tell you how much their paycheck is every other Friday, but they aren’t sure what they bring in on a monthly and annual basis. The first step when eliminating financial stress is to know how much you make. This will help you understand your tax bracket, look for better career opportunities, and see the big picture.

2. Create a Budget

Once you know how much is coming in, start tracking your expenses so that you know how much is going out. Using this information, you can create a very simple budget where every single cent has a home. This doesn’t mean you have to spend every penny (some can go to savings and investments), but nothing should be unaccounted for.

3. Document Everything

The final tip is to document and record everything. Go to your local office supply store or thrift shop and buy a filing cabinet and folders. Create tabs for bills, paystubs, records, and important documentation. Whenever a piece of financial information comes in the mail, file it away. Then, when you need it, you’ll have quick access to it. You’ll never have to go scrounging around in the trash or picking through piles on the kitchen table.

Reclaim Your Sanity and Peace of Mind

Are you tired of constantly stressing about money? Do you want to feel the peace that comes with knowing you’re going to be alright? It’s time to organize your finances and create a game plan for success.