Feeling Financially Strapped?

Don't Let Financial Stress Hurt Your Health

Perhaps you or your partner is out of work or your investments have lost value. Maybe you just wish money wasn't so tight every month. If times have been tough on your pocketbook or portfolio, you're not alone. However, it's important to take steps to keep these hardships from undermining your physical and emotional well-being.

Here are some tips to help get a handle on your personal finances and your stress.

Invest in a Plan

Try not to give in to the gloomy, negative hype in the news. Focus on what you can do to control your situation and become more competent when it comes to money. For example:

  • Take a good look at your finances, even if it hurts.

    Think of ways you and your family can reduce expenses. It can start with something as simple as eating more meals at home or carpooling to work. If you smoke, this may be the motivation to quit that you've been looking for. Evaluate all the ways you spend money. Little things can add up. There may be some things you could get by without.

  • Make a plan to manage your money.

    Perhaps you've decided to pay down some credit cards or save a little more money every month. Write down specific strategies to reduce and save. Then, commit to a plan and review it regularly.

  • Empower yourself.

    Look for opportunities to grow financially and personally. Consider talking with your employer about taking a course to improve your job skills. Or, contact a financial planner to learn how to better manage your finances. You may be able to find affordable financial guidance through government agencies and community organizations. Check out the government services section of your phone book or search online.

Create Your Stress Defense

You can protect yourself against ongoing stress. It's not always easy to make time, especially when so many responsibilities may demand your attention. But, it's worth it. When you take care of your own needs, you're better able to care for your family's needs, too. Learn about coping strategies to help you manage the effects of stress.