With the rise of coronavirus, many Americans are left without a steady source of income. As restaurants, shops and theaters close, people who once felt financially secure are now experiencing a new form of stress. What starts as financial stress can turn into poor mental and physical health or unhealthy coping strategies. If you are in a position where your finances have become a point of stress in your life, here are some ways to manage the anxiety.
Track Your Spending
If you aren’t tracking your spending, it can be easy to lose track of exactly how much money you are spending on a day-to-day basis. Write down everything you buy each day and at the end of each week, review how much money you spent and how much you have left over. This will give you a good starting point going into the next week. Tracking your spending will make you more aware of how little purchases can add up and can help you cut back when needed.
Save Where You Can
As mentioned above, tracking your spending can shed light on some areas where you can cut back on spending. Consider the thought, “Do I need this, or do I just want this?” If the item is not essential or will only bring you temporary satisfaction, avoid buying it or wait until you can save up. If you must go shopping, see what coupons or deals you can find before purchasing items.
Recognize How You Deal With the Stress
Do you buy more things in search of happiness? Do you go to extremes and not buy anything? Do you get angry or sad? Do you blame yourself or others around you for the situation? In some situations, people will relieve stress in unhealthy ways, which could lead to more conflict both internally and with the people around you. Once you identify how you deal with financial stress, it will be easier to remedy. If your behaviors are becoming an issue or the stress starts effecting your mental health, consider talking to a psychologist for more help.
The easiest way to do this is to make a list of things you need. When you go shopping, stick to that list and don’t buy things that you didn’t plan on buying. Avoid going down store aisles that contain items that tempt you such as snacks, games, clothes, etc. Another temptation is the people around you. When you compare yourself to others, it can be easy to want what they have or to participate in activities they are participating in. Sometimes staying home, passing up on an activity, turning off social media or realizing that everyone is running their own race is the best way to avoid temptations.
Create Other Sources of Income
If you are looking for ways to boost your income, there are things you can do while you look for more permanent work. In the meantime, ask your friends and neighbors if there are things you can do for them. Whether it’s yard work or running errands, simple tasks can add up monetarily. You can also tap into your talents for some extra cash. If you excel at art, sewing, baking, organizing or mechanical work, see if you can offer your work for extra income. Get creative, spread the word and post your work online for people to buy all from the comfort of your home!
Ask for Help
Those around you want the best for you. While your friends or family may not be able to help you financially, the important thing to remember is you are not alone. Having someone to guide you in good decision making, lift you up on a bad day or provide financial advice can make a huge difference.