Managing Financial Hard Times: Stop Stressing What You Can’t Control and Focus on What You Can

One of the most common stressors in life is money. Financial strain and unexpected expenses can cause people to experience a lot of stress. However, just as you would when facing any other type of stress, it’s vital to focus on what you can control in a difficult financial situation rather than what you can’t. 

Why is it dangerous to spend too much time worrying about what you can’t control when your finances are involved?

Simply put, financial situations often affect your life’s basic needs. For example, your finances directly impact the food you buy for your pantry, the gas you put in your vehicle, and the clothes you wear on your back. Without having your finances sorted, you are in a position to possibly struggle greatly – even in your most basic of needs. 

If you spend too much time worrying about what you can’t control in a financially hard time, you take time and energy away from a more conducive plan of action. By focusing on what you can control, you are far more likely to mitigate the situation and take some pressure off yourself. 

What are some ways to stop stressing and focus on what you can control when finances are tough? 

There are some strategies you can use to stop stressing so much over finances. 

Get your budget in order. 

Many people don’t have a good grasp on their monthly spending. Take some time to break down a basic budget that covers your necessities versus wants. This can help you understand what must be paid immediately and what could wait for a more financially stable time.

Look at your financial obligations and put the most pressing ones as your top priorities. 

When your finances are in a state of disarray, it can be tough to know where to start. You may even feel like your finances are so messy that you’ll never be able to get them straightened out properly again. 

Instead of allowing yourself to feel overwhelmed, examine each individual financial need or pressing matter you currently have. Make note of due dates, priority, and importance of each one. You will most likely determine that some of your financial matters can wait while you handle the more pressing ones first. 

Reach out to someone you trust when you’re feeling overwhelmed. 

Realizing that you’re having money problems can feel scary, overwhelming, and embarrassing all at the same time. It’s important to not let these emotions stop you from asking for help when you need it most. 

As you navigate these challenging times, identify a person or two within your support system who you can trust to help you navigate your emotions. While you may not be able to control everything happening with your finances, you can get more control over how you’re feeling about them, and sharing your issues with someone you can trust is a great way to explore those emotions and process them.

Look for free resources available for financial struggles. 

There are a variety of free resources available for people who are struggling financially. For example, you may qualify for a more appropriate, easier-to-maintain loan repayment plan than the one you’re currently following. A local bank may offer some budgeting for beginners courses. While you can’t always control what’s happening to you financially, you can control how you choose to approach these challenges. Learning some tips and tricks – and using some other options and resources available to you – are all ways you can focus on what is in your control.