What financial matters press your stress buttons? These are things that stress you – whether or not you’re short of money.
In my 20s it was getting around to paying bills. I’d mislay the paper bill and miss out on early payment discounts. Being stung one month with interest on my Visa bill was the end of that constant stress. I put every bill possible on direct debit so that I could never forget again.
Other people get stressed by the way their partner is spending money. Others get stressed because they go overdrawn because their accounts are so disorganised.
Some financial stressors can be quite major such as:
Financial stressors don’t need to be things that have actually happened or will happen. Some people are frozen into inaction simply by the possibility of things happening. That may, for example, be not investing in equities because of the fear that they are somehow “risky” even though they don’t understand them.
The trouble with these financial stressors is that they take your eye off the eight ball. You end up wasting time or mental energy on small or even non-existent financial matters and don’t focus on your long term goals.
These stressors affect people in different ways. Some people can simply rationalise whatever is happening and take the stress in their stride.
Take someone whose business has failed or have lost investments as a result of financial collapses or even scams. Some pick themselves up and get going again. For others quite small financial stressors can lead to a total meltdown, which leaves them unable to deal with anything financial.
A classic example of someone moving on after disaster is property investor Olly Newland whose $500m Landmark Corporation crashed and burned following the 1987 stockmarket crash. Newland started again and built a personal property investment portfolio and a business speaking and writing books.
Every financial stressor can be reduced. Step one is to simply identify that it is a problem. Then you need to look at ways of reducing the stress such as:
Accept stress and live with it. This is the “don’t let the stress get to you” approach. Even better is:
Attack the root cause of the stress. This is what I did with my bill paying. I removed the problem. With couples and money it might be allowing each partner a certain amount of “his” and “her” money each month that can be spent as he or she sees fit. Everything else is discussed and done by agreement.
Either way, if you’re finding yourself stressed over any aspect of your personal finances, seek advice, and even look at generic stress busting techniques such as yoga or meditation.
Here are some useful links:
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