Being told to quit your soy chai latte in order to get on top of your savings is something nobody wants to hear.
In fact, depriving yourself will probably only add to the stress.
“Financial worry is absolutely an everyday concern for people. It’s that underlying feeling of stress that will often keep you up at night. It ticks over in your mind when no immediate solution is at hand,” psychologist Jacqui Manning told The Huffington Post Australia.
According to Manning, when it comes to getting a hold on your finances we should be more focused on assessing our values and what’s important to us (including those daily pleasures) rather than cutting them out. The first step? Putting some time aside to figure out where your money was going.
“We live in a society where we are always distracted, so making time to actually review your spending can be difficult,” Manning said.
“But ignoring the issue at hand will do nothing but allow that anxiety to build,” Manning said.
Manning said the solution was often as simple as sitting down with a piece of paper for just 10 minutes and reviewing your expenses, but also figuring out what’s important to you.
“Our values evolve over time -- what was important to us five years ago may not be in the picture now -- and this plays a big role in driving what you spend your money on,” Manning said.
For instance, perhaps you are in a stable relationship and no longer need two cars. Maybe your credit card plan isn’t working for you anymore. Or perhaps you're well overdue for a holiday.
“Scan your weekly spending and if your morning coffee is something that makes you happy, look at where else you can cut corners,” Manning said.
Perhaps you could walk to work, or instead of purchasing avocado toast every morning, buy a loaf and keep it in the freezer at work for the week.
In terms of poor investments, Manning suggested taking pride and emotion out of the equation. This would result in less worry and stress over a bad decision.
“Nothing is irreversible," Manning said.
"It's about sitting down and deciding if that house or investment, for example, is only bringing you misery -- ask yourself, is it really worth it?”
“Sure it’s annoying, especially if you’ve put a lot of time and effort into an investment -- but once you make the decision [to sell it] you will be surprised at how quickly life adapts,” Manning said.
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