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The relationship between money and stress.



Money can be a great source of stress for many.

This is what my clients are telling me about money that creates stress, and unhappiness:

• „ I earn very well, but the fear of losing my money makes me work relentlessly to make sure I’ll always have enough“.

• „I spend my money regularly on small things and I fail to set aside for a bigger, long-term project (house)“.

• „Whenever I feel sad, lonely, or bored, I shop online and buy things I later regret buying“.

• „My partner and I argue a lot because we have different ways of spending our money: I want to save, but my partner is overspending“.

• „I have no control over how I spend money. I earn lots of it and I spend it all“.

• „I'm not good with numbers so managing my money seems too hard for me, so I rather avoid doing it“.


 

For many of us, stress is related to having no sense of control over our spending, completely avoiding the subject, or making bad decisions.


 

It makes sense that if we want to get some control, the first and most necessary step is to be aware of and analyze our current spending habits and our source of income. We start to be mindful and observe the day-to-day decisions we make about money and why we make these decisions.


 

The second step is to observe if there is any emotional trigger that relates to our spending. For some people spending money is related to boosting their self-esteem. „I need to have the most fashionable items, to look good and be admired “. For some is based on fear of being excluded by peers. And still others might feel bored and lonely so why not buy something to experience a few moments of happiness?


 

Budgeting your money is the next important step. Not budgeting is like trying to keep track of time without a watch or a clock. Mission impossible, right?

Budgeting can bring you the benefit that you can achieve your life dreams so setting a goal for the medium or long term can be very motivating.


 

The easiest way to budget your income is to separate needs, loves, likes, and wants, US financial educator Tiffany Alice says.

• Needs are the non-negotiable: covering your basic needs of security: house expenses, health, food, and education.

• Loves are things we dream of doing: favorite hobby, travel, buying a house or a bigger one, investing in a business.

• Likes are purchases that bring temporary joy such as clothes that you like but do not necessarily need.

• Wants are something we buy for the sake of buying, or because of a big discount, a special offer. There is no purpose at all.


The more we focus on our needs and loves, the more we have a sense of satisfaction and control over how we spend, and the more we can afford to prioritize things that are truly important in the long run.


Beyond these practical steps, on a deeper level, we all need to reflect and understand what was our experience with money in our families of origin, what is the story that we tell ourselves about money, and what money means to us. Based on these answers, we can understand the beliefs and habits we have in the present and try to modify them.






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