Posted September 13, 2022
Money attributes to the one of the largest stressors in life for many people. According to a study done by the American Psychological Association, 72% of Americans experience being stressed about money on a monthly basis. Headaches, stomach aches, trouble sleeping, and mental health issues like depression and anxiety were reported to be common symptoms individuals felt. If you are reading this and can identify with being a part of that 72%, know you are not alone. Understand that you can release the shame and guilt you may feel around money, and commit today to take control of your finances and emotions.
Where to Begin
The hardest thing with money and emotions is the shame and guilt that keep us stuck in the same vicious cycles. We feel stressed, spend money, and then feel guilty for spending the money. A solution on where to begin with taking charge of your finances starts with sitting down and figuring out how much money you are bringing in and how much you have going out in your expenses.
Do the Math
Once you have figured out how much money you have coming in and the expenses you have going out, do a little math. Take the total amount of your income and subtract your total expenses. There are three possible outcomes: You have a positive number, which means you are making more money than you are spending. You break even, which means you are spending just as much as you are making with little to none left over. Lastly, if the number is negative it means you are spending more than you are making. Once you have your outcome go back and look through your expenses; is there any small changes you can make to have a little more of a cushion?
Give Yourself Grace
Making financial changes takes time, we cannot change our entire financial picture overnight. It starts with seeing where we are and creating some financial goals. Some things you can start doing today include being present with your emotions, understanding your past behaviors and what emotions you feel when you overspend, and giving yourself grace. If you are struggling with your finances, you are not alone. As long as you take the first step toward change, which is deciding to make a change, you are already a step ahead.
If you are having a hard time understanding where to begin to make changes in your finances, see what resources you have available in your area to help. Many times you can sit down with an advisor and they can help go through your finances and help you figure out how to begin.
American Psychological Association