At some point in our lives, every one of us will feel stressed out because of money. Whether it is that time you left your wallet on the bus or your car broke down two weeks before payday, we’ve all been there.
But what happens when your money worries become all too frequent? And what can you do when financial hardship tarts to take its toll on your day to day life?
In this article, the Best Short Term Loans team will look at:
• What financial stress actually is.
• How to recognise the signs.
• How financial stress can impact on your life
• Things you can do to cope with it, and
• Alternative sources of finance if you need money urgently.
What is financial stress?
If you find yourself constantly worrying about making ends meet then it is likely you are suffering from financial stress.
The trouble with money issues is that they can quickly build up. One missed payment becomes two. Covering many bills with different credit cards only seems to transfer the debt; building up multiple streams of interest and charges in the process.
This leads many to feel like they’re in a spiral from which they can’t break out of. When you can’t seem to think about anything other than which bills are due next, this can have a major impact on every aspect of your life.
What are the signs of financial stress?
Recent studies have actually found that the stress caused by financial issues can even begin to mimic symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Financial stress essentially puts your body on high alert since our caveman instincts can’t tell the difference between a physical threat and anxiety around money.
That means, when you start to stress over your finances, your body springs into an automatic fight or flight response; filling you with adrenaline and impacting your thoughts, your feelings, and your behaviours every single day.
Financial stress may present itself as:
• Negative thoughts
When you are concerned about money for extended periods of time, this can create negative thought patterns through every aspect of your life.
Much of the time this results in anxiety when thinking about the future and persistent thoughts such as beating yourself up over past mistakes. This can be a hard habit to get out of, but it is possible. More on this later.
• Impact on your feelings
If your finances aren’t looking great, it can be easy for people to start feeling rather hopeless. Those going through money struggles often fall into the trap of blaming themselves for their financial situations even when this is not the case.
This also tends to stop people talking to others about their worries; further adding to their emotional burden caused by financial stress.
• Changes in Behaviour
Financial stress can even cause changes in the way you behave. This might sound dramatic at first but those worrying about money will tend to avoid certain social occasions.
This could be something like cancelling a night out with friends or even less obvious scenarios like avoiding conversations in which finances might come up. This can be quite isolating for some and has the potential to put strain on your relationships with family and friends.
Financial strain could be impacting on your life more than you first realised. These changes in your life can often result in unhealthy coping strategies like drinking or smoking which, in turn, can lead to even more stress in the long run.
Tight budgets mean less money to play with which leaves little funding for self-care. If your diet is suffering or you’ve been putting off a much needed trip to the dentist, then the stress caused by your financial problems can increase tenfold.
People under financial stress also often experience trouble sleeping. Lack of sleep can have a major impact on your cognitive abilities, mental health, and immune system.
As you can see, financial stress is a lot more significant than just ‘money worries’. But we’re not here to be all doom and gloom. If financial stress is impacting on your life, there are steps you can take and changes you can make to help you find the light again.
Steps to take to cope with Financial Stress
Dealing with your financial problems head on will not only improve your bottom line but it can also help to lift your mood overall.
Saving more and paying off your debt can be extremely liberating. The less time you spend worrying about money issues and dealing with finances, the more time you have to simply enjoy life.
Here are Best Short Term Loans’ top tips to reduce your money stress and motivate yourself to take control of your finances.
Know your key Stress Points
So you know you’re worried about money, but what is it specifically that is causing your anxiety?
Perhaps you are dealing with a concerning credit card balance or maybe you’ve realised you need to get more serious about planning for your retirement. Pinpointing exactly what it is about your finances you are feeling stressed about can really help when it comes to working out your game plan.
Try to write down your top three financial sources of stress. Keeping the list down to the main players will help you to feel less overwhelmed and know exactly what it is you’re up against.
Think positive (yes, really!)
This may sound like a silly step but your mindset will be the single most important part of staying motivated to fix your financial problems.
Don’t get bogged down thinking how much debt you have to repay. Instead, imagine how you will feel your stress levels decrease as your debt load gets shorter and shorter. You have to believe you can do it.
If surprise expense has suddenly popped up and threatens to impact your careful budgeting then it is extremely important that you don’t panic. The obvious knee-jerk reaction will be to stress over how you will cover the cost.
Be proactive. The sooner you start planning how to resolve your problem, the sooner your stress levels will start to reduce.
Create a plan
On a similar note, you have to adopt a ‘glass half full’ view point when it comes to financial stress. Each bill repayment you make or each pound you save may seem to barely make a dent in your total; but these all add up.
With every payment, you get one step closer to your end goal. Mapping this out will also help you to feel more in control of your financial situation.
Take your top three financial sources of stress from step one and categorise them. Are these things you owe, things you are saving for, or potential future expenses? Work out exactly how much money you need (or may need) to resolve them.
If you have a deadline in mind for when you need the funds by then you can plan out exactly how much you need to put aside each month to reach your goal. If you are repaying debts then it is likely you’ll have a set monthly figure you need to achieve.
Make sure that when working out how much money you need to save that you are realistic in your targets.
Determine what you can reasonably achieve (bearing in mind regular, unavoidable expenses like rent, bills, and food) then dedicate yourself to sticking to your target every single month.
It may also help to make a vow to yourself. Come up with your mantra, i.e. ‘I will spend less each month and put the money I save toward my debt, reducing my balance by at least £50 a month’, and repeat it every day.
But be cautious with your ambition. Remember that crash diet or strict gym routine you dropped after a few weeks? So do we. If your goals are too unattainable you risk not sticking to your plan. Set yourself achievable goals then motivate yourself to reach them.
If you need money fast, be responsible.
Financial stress comes to all of us at some time or another. And emergencies like broken boilers and car repairs have a habit of striking at the worst possible moments.
If you are worried about money and an unexpected expenses suddenly arises it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. That is when a manageable short term loan may be able to help you get through it.
At Best Short Term Loans, we’re not lenders. We are highly experienced credit brokers. What this means is that we help those looking for cheap short term loans to find the best possible lender for their individual situation.
Thanks to our close relationship with our lending partners, we know who they are happy to lend money to. When you submit your details into our clever computer system, we are able to match you with the loan company most likely to accept you for credit.
You can find the lowest possible price for the loan you need. You’ll know exactly how much you’ll need to repay each month and exactly how long for with no hidden costs or fees – meaning you can effectively budget around your repayments.
We do all the hard work for you and our service is completely free of charge. So if you need money to cover a surprise expense without impacting on your budget, Apply with Best Short Term Loans today.