If you were to ask your friends what lies at the top of their list of concerns, I guarantee that money will feature. Worrying about money, or lack thereof, keeps many people in a constant state of stress. However, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce financial worry.
- Don’t worry
Easier said than done, but when it comes to financial worry, or indeed worry of any kind, not facing up to the issue can be the cause of at least 50% of your stress. In your mind the issue may feel insurmountable, making you feel reluctant to combat it. But actually, we will feel more stressed sat thinking about a problem, than we will actually doing something about it. In most cases, the issue is not as bad as we imagine.
- Track your spending
Take the client who came to me a few years ago with concerns about her spending. I asked her to keep a spending diary; much like you would a food diary, for a couple of weeks. To her horror, she discovered that she had been spending almost £1,000 a month on food. I then asked her to look at how much of that food was being thrown away. We discovered that she was throwing away a whopping 40% of the food that she was buying. In financial terms, this was £400!
- Do an audit
Every year I look at all my direct debits: utility bills, energy supply, TV, phone and broadband and find the cheapest deal. There are so many websites now that help you look for the cheapest deal, that it really doesn’t take that long. If you end up saving over £80 on your breakdown insurance (which I did this year) you will feel extremely pleased with yourself!
- Get advice
For more complicated sums, such as mortgages and investments, it could be useful to talk to a trained advisor. Ask around friends and colleagues to get a recommendation of where your money is best placed.
- Pay off debt
Lots of people keep a savings account topped up, alongside loaded credit cards. From a purely financial perspective this does not make sense. By paying off all your debts, even if that means making some steep sacrifices on what you do with your spare time, all the money you earn after bills will become disposable income, and that will feel good!
- Is there an emotional issue at fault?
In the clients that I see who want help getting their finances in order we nearly always discover an emotional reason for their spending. It’s usually compensating for a part of their lives they are unhappy with. Addressing this can solve the overspending.
- Take action
Worrying can actually reduce your ability to cope with the problem! One study suggested that we lose valuable IQ points in problem solving when we are worried about money. Take the first step today!
If you’d like to find out how life coaching can help you with financial worries, Contact me today for a complimentary consultation.