Every time you go to the supermarket, the prices somehow seem to have increased since the last time you were there. And don’t even get us started about the cost of the gas that it takes to get you there. For the average American, the ever-growing cost of inflation is enough to stress anyone out. Not to mention existing expenses like medical bills, student loan debt, and the infamous Target runs.
But don’t worry, if you’re feeling stressed out about it all, you certainly aren’t the only one. As a matter of fact, according to the American Psychological Association (APA), almost three-quarters (72%) of adults feel stressed about money and the overwhelming burden of financial stress. So today, we want to talk a little bit about what financial stress is and what you can actually do to try and decrease it.
What is financial stress?
Financial stress is a broad definition that covers any emotional, mental, and physical stress that we feel because of our finances. For some, it’s worrying about being able to meet their day-to-day bills like housing and electricity. For others, it’s feeling buried by debt from student loans, credit cards, and medical bills.
Three steps to combat financial stress
While these three steps aren’t the only things you can do, they’re a great place to start and ways to take action that can actually help you right now.
Remember what is actually in your control
Try as we might, some factors contribute to stress around your finances that you cannot control. Yes, inflation, we’re looking at you. When it comes to something like this, the only control you have is how much and where you’re spending your money.
Make essential bills a priority
We all have certain needs that come before others, like food, shelter, and keeping the lights on. But, other expenses may not feel essential but shouldn’t be neglected. Yes, we’re talking about your physical and mental health. Keeping up with your health is always important, but even more so when you’re feeling financial stress.
Canceling appointments or neglecting your health won’t only make your immediate situation worse but could have negative long-term impacts on your sleep, relationships, work, or any underlying conditions. If you need to cut back and make a change, consider decreasing the frequency of outstanding appointments or work with your provider to make arrangements. Some support is better than none at all.
Ask for help
Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to ask for help. While this can be help from friends and family, it can also come in the form of conversations with your bank, landlord, or employer. For many of us, inflation and the economy, following a global pandemic, , have been incredibly trying for the last few years, to say the least. Dealing with financial stress because of inflation, unemployment, or expenses isn’t something you have to do alone.