Have you ever felt stressed because of your finances? You are not the only one. 72% of Americans have stated that money is a stressor at least some of the time, and 22 percent stated that they have experienced extreme levels of stress due to financial difficulty.
While many people cite money as the cause of their financial stress, it is often not as simple as that. Your expenses could be greater than your overall income, resulting in you taking out payday loans or maxing out your credit. Taking out money from retirement savings is an extreme example.
Unfortunately, many individuals are living from paycheck to paycheck, with little-to-no room to alter their spending habits from items such as rent, clothing, food, and the odd luxury. Debt is also a major cause of financial stress, whether it is something like credit card debt or student debt.
Additionally, a lack of health insurance also results in financial stress for many people, as they now have to pay out-of-pocket for health-related expenses. Some may avoid booking regular doctor’s appointments because of what it might cost them.
Issues relating to money puts a great deal of strain on individuals and families. However, what does it actually do and how can you manage it?
What Financial Stress Does to You
Unfortunately, the 73% of people who cited money as a major source of stress in their lives are all at risk for numerous complications.
Did you know that stress—particularly stress about your finances—could make you sick? Even healthy people may find that their health takes a turn for the worse when they stress about money. There are countless stories about people suffering heart attacks despite the lack of any warning signs or other risks. In one specific case, the man’s doctors cited his financial stress as the major contributing factor.
When you experience stress, your pupils will dilate, your heart will start to race, and you will release hormones such as adrenaline. All of these physical responses indicate the old “fight or flight” response. Unfortunately, when you start feeling the lasting effects such as knots in your stomach, you need to pay more attention to your stress and find out a way to alleviate it.
Did you know that prolonged stress could damage your brain cells? This makes it more difficult to remember things. It also compromises your immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses such as the common cold or the flu. It may also heighten feelings associated with anxiety and depression.
Financial stress can also affect your relationships with other people. Out of those suffering from financial stress, approximately one third of people with partners indicated this stress was a major cause of conflict within their relationship.
So what can you do to reduce your financial stress?
Ways to Manage Financial Stress
Luckily, you can do a lot to reduce stress in your life. One item that tops most lists is to reduce the amount of money you spend. Examine your habits and identify areas in which you might be overspending, such as recreational activities, or shopping on a frequent basis. You can also work to cut down on your debt, whether that is through making regular payments or altering the way you use your credit card.
There are also indirect ways through which you can reduce your financial stress. Make a commitment to engaging in regular physical exercise. Take a 15-minute walk every day, or put in a workout DVD every couple of days. Regardless, getting your body moving is an effective way of reducing stress as it helps produce endorphins and makes it easier to sleep.
Try engaging with your friends and family to help with your stress. You can talk to them about what is bothering you, or you could even just watch television or play a board game with them. If you want to double your chances on reducing stress, try going for a walk with someone!
Perhaps the most effective method of reducing financial stress, however, is to ask for some help. Sit down with a friend or family member and create a budget if you did not have one before, or alter the one that you already have. If you are still struggling with financial stress—or are looking for some professional help—why not contact Billshark?
Save with Billshark
Reducing your monthly service bills has never been easier. Billshark is home to a team of expert negotiators, who are all ready to call up your service provider and negotiate with them on your behalf. Service providers attempt to avoid lowering their prices if it is at all possible. However, by enlisting Billshark you are demonstrating to your provider that you are serious about obtaining a lower monthly bill.
After a successful negotiation, Billshark splits the first year of savings with you. The money you save after Billshark lowers your monthly bill will alleviate some financial pressure and the stress that comes along with it. Now you can use the money for something else, like creating an emergency fund, investing in the future, or simply living with a little more comfort than before.