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How to Govern ​Your Constant Financial Stress [3 Tips] Thumbnail

How to Govern ​Your Constant Financial Stress [3 Tips]

Consider these questions:

  • Are your finances keeping you up at night?
  • Is living paycheck-to-paycheck causing you to act out of fear and desperation, not intention?
  • Have you considered taking out a payday loan or dipping into your retirement just to make ends meet? Do you wonder how to keep the wolves – creditors – from knocking on your door?

If this sounds familiar, you are likely feeling money stress, and it is taking a toll on your physical health. 

Along with death, divorce, loss of a job and chronic illness, money and finances are often listed as one of the top life stressors. In fact, CNBC says that 30% of Americans say that they are "constantly worried about money.

Often, the stress of finances is rooted in poor financial habits: maybe you can't afford to go out to lunch with your friends, but you do it anyways. Maybe you ignore your bank account balance and delude yourself not to check it. Or stuffing unopened bills into a junk drawer. The list goes on and on ... but you make a conscious choice to not live under the constant uncertainty of stress. All it takes is dedication and a plan.

In order to nip chronic financial stress in the bud, the first step is to acknowledge the angst you feel over your relationship with money. Checking in with your body and emotional state are great ways to identify how and when you feel stress:

  • What are some of your physical indicators?
  • Do you get tightness in your belly, headaches, or tense shoulders? 

Imagine how it would feel to not feel that stress! 

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1. Write Down Your Money Thoughts  

If you could wave a magic wand and be able to accomplish any financial goal, what would it be? Be realistic, honest and tough with these goals – give them each a time line and then list out actionable things you can do to take steps towards accomplishing them.  Action to back up your intention can and will change the trajectory of your future.  The difference between a dream and a goal is a plan.

Wealth management is clearer when you have a comprehensive financial plan

2. Why Do You Want It?

Next, once you have a clear vision of your goals, think about why you want to accomplish them. The power is in the word "why".  What would it feel like to pay off those student loans?  How much cash would be freed up each month if you were not making that car payment or mortgage payment?

Taking an honest look at your money will help know what you want

3. Get Real about Your Money

Although this next step wouldn't be considered "fun", it is vital to the success of your financial goals. Get out those statements and make a list of what you currently have and what you currently owe. Separate what you must pay each month, and what expenses you can cut out, lesson or control. This is the perfect time of year to reflect on this and work "on" your life instead of "in" your life.

Also, remember the importance of forgiving yourself for past money mistakes. Looking back, remember to think of past money mistakes as part of your education and necessary for you to now make different decisions for your financial future.


Research shows you can't be stressed and thankful at the same time. The importance of staying positive, especially when making life changes, is fundamental to your success. Acknowledge and have gratitude for your small victories. Remember that negativity and guilt will kill your drive. If you have never worked towards developing strong and healthy financial habits, feeling constantly worried and stressed about money probably feels more normal than not. Money is a bit like health; having it is not a guarantee of happiness, but not having to worry about it makes life a whole lot easier.

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Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.