Whether you're drowning in debt or having a hard time paying bills, financial difficulty can be stressful—and you're not alone in this struggle.
A recent report by the American Psychological Association reveals that 72% of adults feel stressed about money at least some of the time, and 22% say they experience extreme amounts of stress. Financial stress can be responsible for multiple health problems—including fatigue, headaches, depression, high blood pressure and heart disease.
So how do you tame financial stress? Here are five simple steps you can take to reduce or eliminate some of the stress in your life:
1. Stop and asses your situation objectively. Determine and document the scope of the problem by listing all of your financial obligations, starting with the items that cause the most stress. From there, review your bank account and credit card statements and track where your money is going.
2. Talk to your partner or spouse. Not only should you be on the same financial page as your partner, but any steps you take will be most effective if you’re in it together. Plus, not being on the same page could lead to additional stress. Your spouse or partner—or even a family member or friend—can provide emotional support throughout the process.
3. Take control. Are there changes you can make to free up funds to go towards savings or another important area? If you haven’t started yet, make sure you build a cash reserve or emergency fund by saving a little each paycheck. Create a plan by prioritizing your expenses, setting spending goals and sticking to them.
4. Think long-term. Identify and prioritize your goals, and calculate how much you might need to fund them. From there, implement a plan and follow through. Meeting the long-term goals takes patience—but it’s well worth the wait.
5. Get help. You don’t need to handle your financial stress alone. If the level of stress is just too much, and the emotional support of a spouse, friend or family member isn’t enough, there is help available. Speak with your physician, a mental health professional or an employee assistance resource. A financial professional can also be a valuable resource in helping you work through some of these steps.
At Busey, we’re dedicated to providing support and resources you need to help tame financial stress and achieve your financial goals. Visit any Busey location, call 1.800.67 | Busey or visit busey.com.