5 Ways to keep your money-related stress at bay
Money is stressful. It’s easy to feel guilty about not saving enough, not earning enough and spending on things we believe we shouldn’t be.
For many of us, the idea of opening our personal banking app is enough to fill us with dread: somehow, we always seem to spend more than what we’d planned, even on a good week.
So why does money elicit so many negative feelings? Why do we always want more and how can something so material cause so much distress?
The root cause of money-related stress varies but usually has something to do with security. We need money to survive and have a family, so it’s normal to want to save up for that. However, stress kicks in when we feel guilty about our spending habits and give ourselves a hard time for not being able to keep up with lifestyles on our social media feeds.
We unfortunately can’t do much about the fact that you need money to survive but the good news is that we can help you to relieve some of the stress — try the tips below!
1. Make a list of priorities
What makes you happy? Is it travelling? Going out for meals? Buying the latest designer item or tech gadget? Whatever it is, make a list of your spending priorities and (mentally) go back to it every time you’re about to spend.
It may well be that buying the latest drone is a priority and that’s great — but knowing your priorities will help you rationalise big purchases and feel less guilty.
2. Track your spending
Try tracking your spending for two weeks. You may be surprised to find that your spending is not aligned with your priorities.
Realising what you spend more than you would like to on certain “low priority” items will really help you to make small savings in those areas. Choosing the tube over Uber is much more motivating if you know the direct impact on your commuting budget!
3. Don’t give in to FOMO
We’ve all been there — you’re invited to a dinner/holiday that you don’t really want to attend but go to anyway because you’re worried you’ll miss out.
Every time you’re giving into FOMO, you’re taking your hard-earned money away from things you actually enjoy (check your list of priorities!). So, do yourself a favour and ask: “Do I really want this or am I just afraid of missing out?”. Not only will you feel less guilty about spending, you’ll also have more to spend (or save!) on things you love.
4. Dig a little deeper
Have you noticed that you spend more when you’re feeling low? Buying something is a short-lived way of feeling better, and only causes more guilt and stress in the long run.
Ask yourself the question: How am I feeling? Do you feel like you’re not good enough? Are you feeling inadequate? The moment you understand that, you can start doing something about it.
Sometimes we need help to understand and deal with our feelings. Talking therapy is a really effective way to do that, but it’s not always easy to find the right person and time — not to mention it can be expensive! On YourMind, you can Skype with a highly-qualified therapist from a carefully curated selection. Not only can you do so where you want, but it’s also affordable and won’t set you back on your saving goal! You can book today here.
5. Save small amounts regularly
It’s common belief that saving involves huge sacrifice. Although this may be true if you want a Lamborghini tomorrow, it doesn’t always have to be the case. Saving small amounts every few days can go a long way!
It’s not always easy to do this, and we all need a little help from our friends from time to time. And what better friend to help you save than a non-judgmental robot? Enter Plum — your virtual savings assistant that analyses your spending habits and automatically saves small amounts for you.
Knowing that you’re saving in the background will relieve some stress, and seeing how far small but regular steps can take you will motivate you to save even more!