May is Mental Health Awareness Month. At Firstrust, we value your well-being and want to empower you with tools to minimize financial stressors, ultimately reducing emotional stress and promoting improved mental health. Finance and emotions seem like two different worlds, but they overlap more than we realize. Financial wellness, or the lack of it, can contribute to your level of everyday stress. Below are some suggestions for tackling your stress and taking control of your finances.
Create a Budget
Although budgeting doesn’t seem like a useful way to decompress, it can provide you the disposable income to spend on fun, relaxing activities – that won’t leave you feeling guilty over the cost. Creating a budget will put you in control of your finances and boost your bank account. When it feels like you’re in control of your money, there can be less guilt around financial decisions. Making a budget won’t make you wealthy overnight. It’s an actionable step that will bring you more clarity, give you greater control over your spending, and will encourage you to be more realistic about your money and lifestyle.
Not sure where to start? Here you can learn strategies, tips and tools to stick to a budget and achieve your financial goals.
Automate Your Savings
Saving money is no easy thing to do. It can be tempting to splurge on pay day when you see your account balance go up. But that purchase satisfaction is only temporary. Automatic savings can prevent some of those needless buys by moving money into your savings account automatically, often referred to as Pay Yourself First, so there's less available for you to spend on something unnecessary. With automation, you can take forgetfulness out of the equation.
Expect the Unexpected
There’s no way to avoid the curveballs life throws at you. Instead, it’s better to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Building an emergency fund provides peace of mind if you lose your job, become too ill to work, or need to cover a major car or home repair. Even if you can’t save much, a little money set aside may make a big difference when you need it and reduces stress in the long run.
Plan for the Future
Sometimes, planning for the future can be cast to the side, something that you’ll tackle another day. However, “another day” tends to get put off again and again. You can avoid this by taking charge today! With age comes added responsibility. The older one gets, the more demanding life becomes. Whether it’s a mortgage, car payment or some other big expense, making long term plans to save for your future is always a smart idea. These savings don’t come overnight, so get started now and make time your ally.
Track Your Progress
While this may sound like it's not a solution to your financial problem, it can make a big difference in the amount of stress you feel each day. Forming healthy financial habits takes information, practice, and time. Whether it’s creating a new budget or opening a savings account, it’s always beneficial to look back and assess the progress you’ve made. Create short-term and long-term goals, then monitor your progress to ensure you’re staying on track on your journey of managing financial stress.