- Mental Health»
- Stress Management
Dealing With Money Stress
Money is stressful and let’s face it, money makes the world go ‘round. So it’s no surprise that many people plummet into depression, or unfortunately even go so far as taking their own life over money and debt.
We’ve all heard the stories of the man who takes his own life as well as the lives of his family over the mountain of debt he accumulated while simply trying to provide a nice life for them. Unfortunately, in our current economy, this is all too common.
Causes of Financial Problems
There are a number of different things that can cause money issues. One of the biggest, however, is debt whether it’s from credit cards, student loans, or just too many bills. Not having enough money to pay everything is really stressful.
Another big reason for financial difficulty, and the one that is getting the most media attention, is employment. Losing your job is probably the most stressful situation to be in, especially if you are the only bread-winner for your family. In less than a second, you lose everything and a million questions will go through your mind:
- How am I going to pay the utilities?
- What about my student loans?
- The mortgage?
- I need my car, how am I going to pay the car payment and the car insurance? Gas money?
- What about putting food on the table for the kids?
- How will I find another job? When?
That’s just a few of the things that will run through your mind. As time goes on, other things will crop up in your mind which just exacerbates the stress you’re already under.
Coping with Financial Stress
The first thing you want to remember is that everyone has these problems. You’re never alone when it comes to financial problems, and being that we live in a democratic nation, you are not likely to starve, if worse comes to worse.
While you’re at it, remind yourself of all the positive things that you have in your life right now like your family and friends. Difficult times won’t be around forever; this too shall pass.
After having this little discussion with yourself, you’ll want to take a long look at your current financial status. Grab a pen and some paper and answer the following questions:
- What bills do I currently pay?
- How much am I paying out monthly?
- Which of these bills are absolutely necessary?
- How much money do I have right now?
- How much can I afford to pay monthly based on how much I currently have?
- Which of the bills can wait to be paid or are unnecessary?
- How much do I need to spend on food? Fuel? (Be sure to include all family members in this figure as well as how much fuel will be expended for the kids extracurricular activities)
- How much does the kids extracurricular activities cost?
Once you have answered all of these questions, you’ll have a pretty good idea of your current financial situation.
How to Solve Money Problems – Improving Cash Flow
Get Rid of the Unnecessaries
First off, take inventory of your existing bills and immediately stop anything that is considered a luxury item such as:
- Ongoing gym memberships that aren’t prepaid (or even ones that are if you can get a refund)
- That coffee at Starbucks twice a day
- Eating out at restaurants
- Going to movies
- Gadgets and toys
All of these things are not necessary and will deplete your remaining funds that much faster.
Dig Through the Clutter
Secondly, it might be time for you to start digging through the accumulated stuff in your home to find what you might be able to sell to add funds to your cash flow. Garage sales are a great way to get rid of clutter in your house and bring in extra cash.
Remember to mark items low so they’ll fly off the tables. But since we do live in the modern age, you may want to try online auction sites, like Craig’s list and Ebay.
When selling on eBay, your reputation and feedback will determine how your items will be viewed and potentially sold, so make sure you realistically and accurately describe your items and take good, detailed pictures of the items you intend to sell.
Create Passive Income
A third option is finding ways to make money online. If you’re good at writing, you can write for sites like Hubpages, which will eventually bring in extra “passive” income. But it does take time to build a following, and find favor with Google in order to actually make money.
Make Money With Hubpages
I started writing for Hubpages shortly after I took a sabbatical from my career as an ophthalmic technician. I started making money about six months later, just when my husband was injured on the job and was no longer able to work. Talk about perfect timing.
If you're interested in joining Hupages, you can sign up here.
Other Writing Sites and Online Opportunities
While Hubpages will offer you income eventually, there are other sites you can write for that can allow you to make money within a week or so and receive payment through PayPal. These sites include:
If writing isn’t your thing, you may want to look into sites such as Elance or Odesk, which offer writing as well as other jobs such as web design and graphics. These sites may help you get through tough times until you find another job, or another way to bring in the money you need.
If you have a craft or hobby such as crocheting or making jewelry, you can try to sell your creations on sites like Etsy or Zibbet. But keep in mind, this takes quite a bit of work and will not be a quick way to make money. If you want to use these avenues as supplemental income, start while you are currently in good standing. That way, when the inevitable hits, you have a little bit of money coming in regularly.
You should also apply for government programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, and of course, unemployment.
Knowing what your current situation is, and signing up for the various sites above should help alleviate some of your financial stress. Although alleviating all financial stress is virtually impossible.
Keep in mind that if you have a family, you aren't the only one suffering. Your spouse, and your relationship with him/her will also be under quite a bit of strain.
Most importantly, keep your hopes up. Losing hope and becoming depressed will only exacerbate the problem and make it difficult to get yourself out of your current situation.
© Copyright 2012 - 2015 by Melissa "Daughter of Maat" Flagg ALL RIGHTS RESERVED