Stress and anxiety issues are the rise. Many of us are stressed about money. That worry can affect our physical and mental health, strain relationships and impede our ability to do our jobs. Some researchers believe that worrying about debt can increase stress and make you more vulnerable to mental health issues. But, recognizing the link between financial and mental wellness is the first step in monitoring their effect on each other.
Here are three ways to take control of your money and reduce your financial stress:
Practice Mindful Spending
During times of stress it can be easy spend money impulsively: takeout food, new clothes or beauty products, gifts for kids or leisure toys can make spending the week, and weekend, at home a little more exciting. Sometimes what we want now, takes priority over spending our money on things we need, or things that will improve our lives in the long run.
Before you hit the “BUY” button on your virtual shopping cart, take a minute and ask yourself the following questions:
- How long will I want this?
- Is it good for my health?
- Will making this purchase leave me further from my future goals?
These questions will help you to determine the item’s usefulness in relation to your health, wealth or happiness goals. If you can spend time thinking clearly and mindfully about spending, you’ll be more likely to stick to your budget, feel less stressed and more in control of your future.
- Want to read more about mindfulness and money? Check out this article about Mindful Budgeting from Canada’s millennial money blogger Half Banked
Build an Emergency Fund
The need for an emergency fund is a popular piece of financial planning advice, and with good reason. Perhaps, during the COVID-19 pandemic you, or someone close to you, has experienced first-hand how valuable having an emergency fund can be. Here’s a few examples why having accessible savings is a good idea:
- Job loss or salary reduction
- Medical Emergency
- Unexpected costs, like car or home repairs
By having money to cover the unexpected, you will be able to avoid accruing debt and feel much less vulnerable. However, it’s important to remember that funding your emergency savings takes time. Don’t get discouraged. It can take years to accumulate the cash for your fund. Just starting up your fund and setting up regular deposits – even if it’s just $10 a month! – will give you a sense of relief and purpose.
- Use Get Smarter About Money’s Emergency Fund Calculator to get an idea how much you need in case of a financial emergency.
Get Insurance to Reduce Financial Stress
So, now you know the importance of mindful spending and building your savings in case of emergency. It’s time to think about how insurance can provide stability and financial protection for your loved ones. If you have a spouse or dependents who rely on your income, life insurance will ensure that you are able to provide should you pass away. If you are worried that your loved ones would be unable to keep up with mortgage and consumer debt payments, tuition costs, or funeral expenses without your income, life insurance may be what’s missing from your financial plan.
With life insurance you can secure your family’s finances. (Did you know? Over 80% of people over-estimate the cost of life insurance?) Teachers Life has an insurance product that’s right for you. Take a minute to get a free quote for life insurance and strike another item off your list of financial worries.