Back in 2009, at the peak of the debt crisis, a friend went through bankruptcy. His small off-license News shop closed within a matter of months. The bank got the verdict from the court ordering him to pay $1 a month.
Apart from the usual stress of dealing with bankruptcy, he went through the stress of managing his finances post-bankruptcy. It was tough for him to do it – to find new work and restart everything. Fortunately, he did it. Currently, he is running a small business, however; bankruptcy is still on his records.
Bankruptcy is a major event in anyone’s life and surely it creates stress – a lot of stress to deal with new realities appearing after declaring yourself bankrupt. However, managing money and finances in our daily life can also be the cause of stress. Money stress is a reality and the cause of major stress for most of Americans.
There can be many reasons for this stress – not earning enough, spending more than what we earn, carrying a large amount of debt (even private small business loans taken in the shape of MCA or investor loans which are generally given on soft terms to small business owners) trigger stress.
Coping with money stress
If you are facing such a situation or someone you know is going through this, it is time to look inside and become more aware of what coping mechanisms you can develop and follow to deal with money stress.
Part of it is related to our emotional style and DNA and part of it are simply developing a system which can boost willpower and motivation to feel positive when faced with making difficult money choices.
Here are three simple routines which can help you to cope with money stress:
1. Morning routines
I’m not a night owl! I get up around 4 am, and till 7 am I use the time as my own sacred time to contemplate, plan, review and learn new things.
If you can afford to get up at least 1 hour before your usual time, I suggest you to use that time bucket for making your money decisions for the day. Our willpower decreases as the day passes and with more to deal with during day time, it is better to make most important decisions concerning money first thing in the morning.
Let’s say, you are planning to buy groceries today or want to order pizza later that night, it is better to decide the same in morning. It will cause less stress to make this decision early in the day.
Making monthly budgets, recording your daily expenses, checking and tallying your bank statements and even reading your credit card bills first in the morning can easily offer you an opportunity to think in a clearer manner and develop strategies to deal with various aspects of your money. To deal effectively with money stress, develop morning routines and make your important financial decisions early in the day.
2. Be a stress stopper
Another reason money creates stress in our life is because we argue about it. If you and your partnrt are both earning and have divided expenses, arguments are sure to follow. If your spouse is paying the mortgage and he or she missed a payment or two without informing you, most probably, you will end up with a heated argument.
When faced with such a situation, you can decide who is going to back out from the argument. Carefully discuss with your spouse that if any such situation arises, either you or they have to act as a stress stopper. Or if your kids are old enough, you can ask them to interrupt and intervene. The purpose is to break the chain and stop you from stressing yourself more.
If you feel that your inability to deal with money is causing you stress and putting your relationships at risk, you should give a try to meditation.
Meditation is a medically proven way of dealing with stress and if you can simply build the routine of even doing a 5 minute meditation twice a day, your ability to deal with money stress can significantly increase. By simply closing your eyes and watching your breath, you can calm your nerves and are fully aware of what to do when faced with tough money choices.
What is more important is how you build small systems and routines to follow to deal with money stress. Early morning meditation, planning for the day and developing a relationship of trust with your family or significant other can greatly reduce money stress.
Featured photo credit: American Herald via americaherald.com