Many things in life can stress a person out. Stress can also range from mild and occasional to something more serious and chronic. Thankfully, society is starting to understand just how much of a negative impact stress can have on a person mentally and physically, so there is a push to better manage it and look for ways to address it healthily.
If financial stress is something that is top of your mind and your biggest stressor of the moment, the good news is that there are ways to combat it. Here are four budgeting tips that can help to alleviate all that stress you are currently feeling, allowing you to free yourself from the damaging cycle.
Use a Budgeting App – Be In Control
Sometimes financial stress can be caused by the unknown. If you aren’t keeping track of your income and spending, you aren’t aware of your financial situation. There are plenty of effective and free personal budgeting apps that you can download to your smartphone that will give you back control. Look for one that allows you to track expenses in real time so that your budget is up-to-date and accurate.
Embrace Online Shopping Coupons and Deals
If you haven’t been much of an online shopper in the past, now is the time to change that. Did you know that online shopping allows you to use all kinds of special offers, discounts, deals, and coupons? It can be a great way to save a few dollars, and those “few dollars” will add up by the end of the year.
Nowadays you can shop for just about anything online, making it a very convenient option. Some of the more popular items to buy online include:
- Beauty products
- Home decor
- Pet supplies/food
Just be sure to check the shipping minimums on each site, as this is a great way to get discounted or free shipping.
Cut Out the Impulse Purchases
How many times have you been guilty of making an impulse purchase? It’s something everyone has experience of, and it often results in buyer’s remorse. Impulse purchases can be hard to resist, but there are some tips and techniques that will help.
Here are a few questions or tips to ask yourself before making the purchase:
- Does it fit within your monthly budget? Can you afford to buy it without forcing yourself to go over budget?
- Wait at least 24 hours before making the purchase and then ask yourself if you still want it.
- Is this a want or a need?
- How often will you use this item?
- Is this a practical purchase?
- Are you making this purchase for emotional reasons – you feel sad, depressed, angry bored and so forth?
- Do you have something similar at home?
Taking the time to ask yourself simple questions can shed new light on the item and help you to realize it’s not worth the money. This exercise can be difficult at first, but over time it will become a habit and change the way you shop.
Set Financial Goals for Yourself
The final tip is to set financial goals for yourself and lay out the steps you need to take to reach them. This will give you a tangible milestone to work towards, which can energize you, help you stick to the budget, and prove that your hard work is worth it.
It’s Time to Celebrate the Wins
Using these tips can transform the way you look at spending, your finances and your budget. It’s all about eliminating your financial stress and celebrating the wins.