Many people are financially stressed. We have been thinking a lot lately of ways to decrease this financial anxiety. What concrete steps can you make now and in the near term so you can sleep better at night. We have all been there, tossing and turning wondering how we our going to afford this or that, etc.
1. Tackle one aspect of debt at a time
When we are in debt in several different areas we lose focus and are distracted. This might be by design because it keeps people in a constant debt cycle. Perhaps we take one aspect of debt first and knock it down! A good example, let’s say you have student loans, a car loan and credit card debt. Perhaps just laser in on the car loan. Pay more than the minimum on the others, but really hit the car loan hard. Like double the payment each month to destroy it in a year vs 2-3 years. Having that one big thing gone builds your momentum and then allows you to tackle the next item. We become overwhelmed by too much to handle or the entirety of a large project such as building wealth. So, tackle it one aspect at a time. See our 30 days challenges for inspiration, spend 30 days focused on area to improve it.
2. Consider simplifying everything
Great and efficient companies that make a lot of money actually are obsessed with simplification. Think Amazon or McDonalds. They make billions of dollars by making every aspect of the business simpler. Think of yourself as your own business enterprise. That means finding ways to simplify and streamline everything possible. If you have 16 credit cards and 12 checking accounts then in my opinion that is a mess. That leads to inefficiency, confusion and worry.
3. Automate, automate, automate
I believe most of us need to automate our way to wealth. Most of us lack the long term vision and discipline that actually take the physical steps necessary to build our investments each month. If you know each paycheck you have socked away 5, 10, or 15% automatically, then there is an instant lack of worry. You have automatically done the most important thing, the thing that Warren Buffett says is so important, paying yourself first. You do not need to worry about this and then every extra savings you can squeeze out is just icing on the wealth cake.
4. Stop thinking about what others have
Do not try and keep up with everyone in terms of spending and consuming. Look within to truly understand your personal values in terms of priorities. Maybe you do not need the big house because you truly enjoy travel. Maybe fancy clothes are not your thing and you prefer owning antiques. And turn off the TV and consume less media, it is just meant to manipulate us into spending more money than we need.
5. Meditate, exercise, eat healthy
Focus on healthy ways to reduce stress levels and I know plenty of them. When we are stressed about money and life we tend to gravitate towards unhealthy food, sitting too long, binge watching TV, zoning out, alcohol, etc. All these things make the stress and worry even worse. We have to push ourselves into a positive direction and find people that will support you in these endeavors.