Managing Financial Stress

Managing financial stress can be difficult. It's often easier to just ignore it. This is the kind of stress that we just wish would go away.

Better than managing financial stress is not creating it in the first place. But that's easier said than done, particularly in these tough economic times.

Either way, here are some things we can do that will help. These strategies are based on the idea that full awareness is needed before leaping into action.

1. Take Stock

Go over your records and find out just what your situation looks like. If you are in debt, how much do you owe. What is your income and what are your expenses each month. How do they match up. The picture may be ugly but before you can do anything about it, you need to know what it looks like. On a single sheet of paper list your monthly income expenses. Also make a list of what you owe. Get creative in brainstorming ways to decrease expenses and increase income as well as paying off debt.

2. Seek help if you can't figure it out

If after taking stock you can't see a way out, then get some help. There are many professional advisors who offer this kind of help but before choosing one, seek a recommendation from someone who has used this kind of help.

3. Make a plan

You need to map out a way of dealing with your situation and create a budget. If needs be you may need to re-negotiate commitments so they are manageable. You may need to cut back on luxuries. Whatever you do, make sure your plan takes you in the direction of less debt, greater abundance, and much less worry.

4. Pay the Piper

Resolve to pay bills on time in the future and don't ignore them. One person I know failed to file a tax return for four years. After the state tax agency took away his savings account he complained bitterly, but to no avail. He finally ended three months of stress and worry by paying his tax bill.

5. Smile and Breathe

This too shall pass. Know that you have the resources within you to create what you need in your life. If you take care of yourself in mind and body and apply your creative genius to the situation at hand, you will find a way. Trust, smile, and breathe.

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