The Stress Of Budgeting

No one really enjoys dealing with financial problems and it’s not like budgeting your money is the most fun and exciting thing you could be doing with your time but sometimes it’s necessary and beneficial for your finances. However, that doesn’t mean that the stress of budgeting won’t still get to you sometimes. So here are a few helpful suggestions to make sure that any financial strain or worry doesn’t take over your life.

First of all it’s important to remember that it’s all temporary. Your finances and money situation can change at the drop of a hat for the better or for the worse so by keeping in mind that whatever you’re going through right now, money-wise that is, is probably going to be different in a few weeks, you can keep a big-picture sort of perspective and prevent anything from stressing you out too much.

You also want to remember that you are totally and completely in control of your finances. You always have a choice, you always have an option - no matter how limited or constricting things may seem. There is never a situation or circumstance when you’re locked in without any choices whatsoever. You can always make a new choice, take a new direction, and try a new solution. There are always options if you’re willing to see them and be open to them.

Another way is to make sure you’re organized and confident in your budget and financial plan. If you’re worried or concerned about your budget or plans because you haven’t got things mapped out completely or you’re feeling unsure then take the time to sit down and get completely clear on where you are financially and where you’re going. Organize your bills, your taxes, and statements and files you might have hanging around. Clutter causes chaos. Take the time to get everything sorted and in order and you’ll save yourself the anxiety that comes with having things in a big mess. It’s also worthwhile to balance your checkbook, and tie up any loose ends such as old bank accounts or things of that nature that are hanging around. Things like this are a drain of energy when you think about them and can make you feel overwhelmed when it comes to your finances.

Stick to your plan. Whenever you begin to feel frustrated or worried about your finances remember that you have a budget and you have a plan. If you don’t have a budget or a plan then isn’t it time to make one? But if you already have one set up then use that as a source of comfort and stability. You’ve set goals, created limits, and built a system that will take you where you want to go in the realm of financial security. Just having done that is a big deal. It means you took action, you took control, and you took responsibility for creating a better financial future than the one you have today. So take comfort in the fact that you have made wise financial decisions already and that you can continue that course of action for as long as you choose to.

It’s also helpful to remember that money isn’t everything. Yes it’s an important tool but it’s still only a tool and not a means to any sort of end. You won’t live or die without money and even without it you can still move toward your goals and dreams. Keep money in its place (which is not on a pedestal) and remember what your values are. Money shouldn’t be the most important thing in the world to you. If that’s the place you’re coming from then I guarantee that you’ll have an extremely difficult time holding on to money in your life. Money doesn’t like to be kept in one place. It’s much easier to let money flow in and out of your life than it is to hold onto it really tightly and hope it stays put. So instead of placing that focus on money turn your focus to serving others. I promise that if you put your focus on giving back to others around you and doing what you can to help out the world you’ll do far better in terms of money than if you were to spend your time stressing over bills and bank statements.

Another great thing to do is to simply find another activity that takes your focus off your money worries. Whatever it is that makes you happy - do that for a while, or at least until you aren’t feeling so stressed over your budget. Some people paint, others hike, others walk the dog, and others still exercise or do yoga. Just find something healthy and nurturing that you enjoy doing and use it as a good stress reliever for your money worries. And don’t get in the habit of using money as an excuse for not doing that certain activity. I’m sure that regardless of what it is, there is some way you can find to do that activity you love.

It can also help to find some support. Whether it’s in the form of a friend or a sibling or a parent - whatever the case may be, it’s really helpful to find someone that you can confide in when you’re worried about money problems. I wouldn’t recommend doing this with a spouse though because what can start out as encouragement and listening can develop into a discussion and then sometimes an argument. I don’t advocate not discussing finances with your spouse or significant other just that if you need to vent or complain a little bit over your money problems it’s better to do it with a girlfriend or your mom than it is to do it with your husband.

Finally remember that worrying never does any good. You can’t foresee the future and the past has already come and gone so all you have is right now and that moment there isn’t anything you can do to make everything change magically so why worry about it? If you have decisive action you can take then take it and then let the situation run it’s course. Stressing yourself out is only going to make you sick (which will then make your money problems worse and harder to deal with) so don’t bother with it at all. Just do the very best you can and then let things run their course. You don’t know if they’ll work out for the best or for the worse so there’s no point in speculating and imagining outcomes that will only stress you out even more. Trust that things are working out for the best and  then put your focus on other more pleasant parts of your life.

The best thing you can do is keep a positive outlook on everything money related and then let go of any stress or anxiety you might have. I know that sounds like a difficult task but if you use the suggestions above and continue to be positive not only will your outlook on money change as your stress melts away but your whole financial situation will change as well as you begin to take on a new attitude and fresher outlook. Money and budgeting can be stressful but it certainly doesn’t have to be.