According to the American Psychological Association, money is the most common source of stress. So we have 3 ways to cut financial stress:
The first tip goes against everything we’ve ever heard: Do NOT make a budget. That’s according to Kenneth Robison, a financial planner, and Money Magazine. Robison based that advice on a decade of surveying his clients. He says, making a detailed budget only makes things worse – the problem is, people hate to think about where they need to cut back. His tactic? Stop counting where every dollar is going. Instead, calculate what you need to save each month for your goals – like retirement or college – then have that money automatically pulled from your bank account or paycheck. The remaining cash is yours to spend.
The second way to handle your financial stress: Worry on purpose. Research has found that restricting your worry to a pre-set time of day can reduce anxiety. So set aside a time each day to think about your 401k, or your credit card debt, for 15 minutes. Nancy Molitor, a psychologist at Northwestern University, says within a week, most people realize they’re not worrying as much throughout the day.
The final way to cut your financial stress: Write a check. Research from the University of British Columbia found that generosity makes people happier. They had students donate cash to other people – and found it decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. So donate to charity, or help a friend in need. When you give money to other people, it restores and validates your positive self-image.