Money, or the lack of it, is often a major cause of stress in people’s lives. This can be the result job loss, not being able to find a job, not making enough, or through careless spending habits. The question is – how do you manage your money?
Not having enough money to meet your basic needs can make all other stressors seem even worse.
It is a fact of life that money is required to obtain the necessities: shelter, food, clothing, and medical care.
Money provides the means for you to eat well and stay healthy, to have time to spend with your family, to get an education, to participate in activities you love, and to pursue interests that are important to you.
Everyone needs money and everyone worries about money – no matter how much they have. This suggests that the stress surrounding money is not always about the amount of dollars in and dollars out. It is usually more complicated than that.
Let’s look at a few things that can help you manage stress around money.
Learn the Difference Between “WANT” and “NEED”
It is easy to confuse those two words. Most people overspend because they think they need so many things, when the reality is that they just want things so badly that it feels like a need.
If you can learn to buy things when you truly need them – because they fulfill basic necessities, rather than buying because you really want something, because someone else has it, or because you want to impress your friends, you will be surprised at how much money you will save. It won’t take long for you to realize that you can live happily and comfortably with a lot less.
Recognize that Money ≠ Happiness
Money can make you giggle a little and bring instant gratification that feels good; but, it does not buy happiness.
True happiness comes from friends, family and the joy of being alive in this magnificent world – which costs nothing. The love of your spouse, the love of a parent, the love of friends cannot be bought. The only requirement is to be there with them and for them.
The truth is that beyond having enough money to cover the basics necessities of life, everything else is frosting on the most delicious cake called life.
Find Other Ways to Give
Some people feel bad that they do not have extra money to give to charitable causes. Although giving money to a worthy cause is admirable (if you have it to give); but, there are other gifts equally as valuable – your time, attention, and energy.
These gifts should be given regularly to your family and friends, and to others whenever possible. To feel truly good about yourself, nothing is more important than a willingness to give of yourself.
Think of Money as a Tool
When you recognize and fully accept that money is only a tool that can help you live a happy, worry-free life, you will be better equipped to manage the money you have and be more creative in finding ways to make more, if you need it.
The best way to handle stress around money is to learn to manage it well. A starting point is to set a realistic budget that you can live with (including emergency funds) and stick to the budget.
Spend money on basic needs and on making happy memories with your family – spend on THINGS you you actually need rather than what you want.
We are half way through the series. Hope you gleaning some useful ideas on how to relieve and/or manage stress in order to live a healthier, happier life.
See you next time,