Stress, money, stress, money…..how to deal

Published on November 2, 2015 8:10 am, by

It’s coming up to that time of year where feeling that you need to spend money can make you feel stressed.  Every person who’s been stressed about money spends differently and reacts differently.

Here’s 5 tips to help relieve stress full stop.  And another 5 practical ways that may help you feel more in control of your money.

5 tips for managing stress –

Exercise is awesome for mental health.  For me the brain fog clears and it’s like a weight has lifted from my shoulders.  Although I have a gym membership, when I want to clear my head the best results come from a walk, run or simple meander by a river or through some trees.

Meditation, Relaxation or whatever you want to call it.  Meditation can be as simple as 5 minutes lying down connecting with your breathing or an unlimited amount of time simply being.  There are classes, podcasts, and programs available for download sometimes free and sometimes for a cost to help direct you to a mindful state.  Otherwise a yoga class may be more up your alley.

Eat well and often, body health flows through to mental health.  Feeling alert and healthy is a great stress reducer.  So many foods that help with great health benefits that keep you feeling good – seeds, nuts, leafy and green vegetables, white meat, oatmeal.

Listen to music, play around with styles, volumes and having a little dance as you go.  Some days the perfect track will be the one with a backbeat that you can stomp to, other days some pop music where you can swivel your hips, and other days the sounds of birds chirping and waves flowing.  Nothing like some tunes to chase away the stress.

Get a massage, or ask your partner for a foot rub.  Touch is a great stress reliever.  Some days it can be as simple as a hug from your mate, or your child sitting on your lap while you read a book or watch a movie.

5 tips for feeling more in control of your money –

Know exactly where it goes, there are lots of amazing apps out there now which show you exactly where you are spending.  Like the MoneyBrilliant app which I love.  I can tag transactions, which is awesome for me, I can see how much I spend on each kid, myself & how much my husband spends.

Understand your bills, Have a bills calendar.  Know your monthly, quarterly and annual bills.  Equate bills to your pay period and ensure that this much money is set aside after paying your rent/mortgage.  Make sure you negotiate/check how much your services cost you at least annually.

Are you taking a holiday or trying to repay a debt?  Take that money out as soon as you have paid your rent/mortgage & set aside your bill money.  What you have left at this point is your discretionary spending.

Safe spending, this is the amount that you can spend without impacting your ability to meet your financial commitments.  You need to understand this figure to understand what you can commit to.  Prioritise everything you want to do and see if there’s anything you need to drop off the bottom.

Say no, you have spent time and worked to earn your money.  If you want to spend it in a certain way and agreeing to something else will put that at risk you are well within your rights to say no.  Set your money boundaries.  Stick to them.  Recognise where you are at risk of caving in and learn strategies to negate this.

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Jen is an experienced banking professional who loves wine, coffee, finding a bargain and of course her three beautiful children. Since Jen's first budget led her to buy a home at 20, Jen has passionately helped others to make better decisions with their money.

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