The Top 5 Steps to Reduce Financial Stress
By Dr. Jill Ammon-Wexler
Money may not be the "root of all evil," but it is often the root of tremendous personal, business and relationship stress in today's world. People divorce over it. Businesses collapse due to poor management of it. And entire societies collapse due to poor distribution of it.
Our most recent website poll revealed that over 50% of our readers and visitors are dealing with financial stress in one form of another. Whatever the cause — stress is stress. And our commitment is to bring you the best possible stress management strategies and tools. So ... here are five financial strategies to help you take charge of your financial world. They may seem simple or even old-fashioned, but they work!
Step 1. Develop Positive "Money Awareness"
The first step in enhancing your financial health is to build your money awareness: Where does it come from? What are you spending it on? How much do you save?
Many, many people simply "ignore" how money flows through their life. They don't budget — or they simply assume that money is, and will continue to be, a "problem." This actually ensures that it will continue to be a problem.
If you want more money in your life, you absolutely need to avoid being fearful about any lack of money. Remember — what we focus on actually builds stronger neural circuits in our physical brain. Focusing on lack simply creates additional stress. And stress prevents the clear, focused thinking you need to bring more money into your life.
Consider making a commitment to become more aware of money in a positive way. Begin to think of it as a resource to be managed and used wisely, and you will find you have more money available than you thought you had.
Step 2. Adopt Abundance Consciousness
In spite of how we were programmed as children, money is neither "the root of all evil," nor the ultimate source of happiness. Money is really just energy — a tool that can be squandered or ignored, or can be used to build a comfortable lifestyle.
It's OK to desire a more comfortable, successful lifestyle. Having more abundance in your life begins by wanting it! Examine your attitude toward money, financial health, and prosperity. Money will not come to you if you have a rejecting or fearful attitude toward it.
Some people end up creating money-challenged lifestyles because they refuse to be responsible for how they handle their money. This can be corrected by simply changing how they manage their relationship with their money.
Step 3. Develop a Spending Strategy
If you want increased prosperity and abundance, it's important to learn to handle your money more effectively. This starts with spending less than you make. This simple (but often ignored) truth gets many people into debt over their heads.
Here's a corrective strategy that can work wonders - and will immediately reduce your financial stress: Cut back your spending by 20 to 25%. Take a careful look at your life, and you'll find this IS possible. Pack a lunch, stop eating out, get a video instead of going to the movie house, repair things rather than just trashing them, and just plain live simpler!
It's essential that you track your cash flow, and take control of your spending. Create a budget and stick to it! If you're living on your credit cards, something has to change. You're racing down a dead-end street, and might need some professional help.
Step 4. Develop a Savings Strategy
Most financial experts recommend that you "pay yourself first" by saving a minimum of 10% of your income. But the amount you save is not as important as developing the habit of saving! Even if you can only save 1% of your earnings - just do it! And once you commit to your savings strategy, stick to it every payday.
Step 5. Develop an Investment Plan
While you are building up your savings, commit some time to learning about investing. Many community colleges have courses on stocks, real estate, commercial property, starting a small business, and even investing in coins or collectibles. Discover what interests you and go for it. But remember, you'll always do best if you follow your own natural interests (people have made fortunes in everything - even comic book trading). The big goal is to learn to get your money working for you, so you don't have to work for it! And to achieve that goal, get your mind amped up to generate prosperity and abundance mind power!
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