Financial stress, everyone has it right? Well, you might be surprised to know that it is possible to reduce financial stress immediately with a few simple steps. Here’s how.
Not too long ago a mom emailed me about a financial challenge she was facing, we’ll call her Jenny. She was $8,000 dollars in credit card debt, and the situation was stealing her joy and even triggering serious health issues.
She was stressed.
But as you’ll soon see, things weren’t quite as bad as she thought.
What is financial stress?
Financial stress can be defined as the response that comes from either a real or perceived gap between the demands on your income and your ability to meet those demands.
I’m sure I don’t even have to tell you how financial stress causes your health, your marriage, and your family to suffer.
But how can you you ever hope to realistically reduce your financial stress when you know that there is a very real gap between your income and all the demands on your budget?
I mean, everyone worries about money, right?
Well, maybe you don’t have to.
Today I want to share with you how you can replace financial stress with hope – almost immediately.
How to Find Hope in Your Finances
If financial stress is the response to the gap between your income and all the demands on your budget, then hope is the bridge that will take you from stressed – like my reader was – to financial peace.
We often misuse the word hope, as in “I hope it won’t rain tomorrow.” It has a flavor of wishful thinking, an emotion, something we have no real control over.
(Now don’t get me wrong, my hope is in Jesus for my finances and everything else, but this definition describes the process of achieving financial goals – and therefore finding hope with your finances – really well.)
According to researcher C.R. Snyder, the true meaning of hope has three important components:
- You know where you want to go and can set a realistic goal
- You can figure out how to achieve your goal – even when the unexpected happens and you have to try a different route
- You truly believe in your ability to accomplish your goal! (source)
It’s no wonder then, that as soon as you take a realistic look at your finances, discover the right goal to aim for, and have a step-by-step plan for how to get there, your stress surrounding money will quickly dissolve.
Even before you’ve ever taken that first step down your financial roadmap, you’ll find yourself worrying less and feeling more hopeful.
The Secret to Overcoming Financial Stress
That’s certainly been true in my own life.
As a new mom, my family’s finances were bad and getting worse. But the most gut-wrenching part was that I saw my dream of being a stay at home mom slipping out of reach.
A few years down the road I finally took my head out of the sand about our true financial picture. I set a specific goal, and made a plan – simply made a plan – about the steps we needed to take to get there. Suddenly the all-too-familiar simmering of worry started to calm.
What’s amazing is that I almost didn’t realize how bad it had been until it was gone.
Because we had a clear path, we made progress quickly, but even before we took those first steps, I felt much more peace about our finances than ever before.
I would love nothing more than for you to experience that same release, the same sense of financial peace. It really is so simple.
Don’t just look for ways to manage the financial stress you’re feeling. Instead, try these steps to eradicate it from your life completely.
5 Simple Steps to Stop Financial Stress
So, how do you reduce financial stress? Going back to the essential components of hope, the path to financial peace would look something like this:
- Take an honest look at your current financial picture.
- Decide which goal to pursue.
- Discover the steps you’ll need to take to get there (most likely this means learning to budget the right way).
- Believe you have what it takes to achieve your goal.
- Commit to finding a way to reach that goal even when unexpected circumstances come your way.
Without knowing it, Jenny already set herself on the path to financial peace. She knew exactly how much she owed, and she realized how deeply the financial stress was affecting her heart and her health.
The goal was obvious: pay off credit card debt.
All she needed now was to break down the steps she would take to get there and believe in herself. I know she can do it – and you can too!)
Yes, it’s simple, but it takes courage doesn’t it? Especially if you’re facing down some tough financial struggles that you’ve been carrying around for just-short-of-forever.
I’ve been there, and I would love to walk alongside you through this process. After all, we all could use some extra info and encouragement as we find our footing.