Top 10 Ways To Banish Financial Stress
If financial anxieties are keeping you up at night, you're not alone. In these recessionary times with millions of people not just losing their jobs but having absolutely no real prospects to get another one at any time in the foreseeable future, the pressures wrought by financial worries are crippling a significant percentage of the American population!
So many people worry about money that a new industry of money psychologists has sprung up to treat them. Some people worry that they'll never have enough, while others worry that they aren't measuring up to their bragging neighbors; still others worry that they don't deserve the money that they have. Once you get started, there's plenty to worry about, including:
- I'll never get out of debt.
- Everybody but me is getting rich in the stock market.
- I don't know how we'll ever send our kids to college.
- I'll be 90 before I can afford to retire.
- My husband (or wife) is a spendthrift who will never understand financial responsibility.
- How will I ever pay that bill due on Tuesday?
- What if I lose my job?
And so on. Women suffer from money worries more intensely than men; Money Magazine once did a survey that showed that three out of every five women are more likely to be worrying about money than thinking about sex. As much as men may agonize about their finances, they still think about sex more. Women worry about money for reasons both good and bad. They have and earn less money, interrupt their careers to take care of kids and parents, outlive their spouses by seven years or more, and generally have more cause for concern. But they also hurt themselves by being overly cautious about money; by being so afraid to take financial and career risks that they don't earn all that they could; and by losing sleep and worrying about money when they're in better financial shape than they think.
We are all victims of the media which has implanted the evil gluttony of currency in our minds and has made us all walking bank machine automatons who seek bling above all else. In real terms we make much more money than our grandparents could ever have dreamed of when they were our age. The problem is that grandpa and grandma in those days didn't have to worry about paying the cable bill and the broadband bill, nor stocking up on DVDs and video games, or paying cell phone charges that are nothing short of criminal.
There are techniques that can help. Some are financial and others are psychological exercises that can help put money back in its proper place. Here are 10 steps that can help you banish financial stress:
1) Do whatever it takes to pay down debts, especially on credit cards. The average balance-carrying American household owes almost $11,000 on its cards. No wonder people are anxious! To get your credit cards down to zero, skip a vacation, have a yard sale, take a temporary second job, do freelance work, or cut out your optional household expenses like your cable service. Drastic times require drastic measures. Credit card balances are like black holes, and once you dig out, you'll have financial freedom worth more than whatever you were charging.