We all know that life can get the better of us, at times. Whichever situation you find yourself in, there will inevitably be ups and downs for us all.
But if you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed at the moment, or are reading this to prepare your future self, the last thing you need is to also be burdened with financial stress.
Perhaps it’s your finances causing these emotions to begin with, not just your environmental circumstances? This is very common. But the good news is you don’t need to move mountains to start making a positive change and allow yourself to feel a bit better. And if at any time, you need to reset a little because you’re feeling it’s all a bit too much, that is 100% OK!
If you feel you could benefit from better money management skills to perk you up, let’s work together on some easy tactics:
First up, think about your incomings and outgoings over just a few days. (We won’t go for a full-on monthly budget here, because we all know that can be a little intense when you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything else going on.)
Aside from big bills that you can’t avoid paying, how much money do you think you’ll spend over the next three days? Then compare that to how much you actually spend.
Do this by checking your online bank transactions, or tally up using a ‘Notes’ app on your phone — whatever works best for you to help you gauge where you’re at with money. And after that, you’ll be able to decide if you can repurpose your money in a better way.
If money is tight, could you find a way to cut back on something simple, like a subscription you’re not taking full advantage of? Or if you have extra in your pocket, think about what good could you put that money toward that will lighten your money worries going forward?
Perhaps you have a big life goal you’re saving towards. Or have thought about getting some income protection insurance if the possibility of redundancy keeps you up at night. There are plenty of options depending on your needs!
Think about your habits
When you’re feeling stressed out, what do you do to cheer yourself up? Make yourself a list and highlight the ones that cost you money. It doesn’t matter if it’s a mocha frappuccino treat or going to the gym, we all rely on some kind of comfort and this task isn’t about being hard on yourself.
It’s more about being honest – is there a different, cheaper way to practice your coping method? Possibly replacing the habit with something else?
It could be as simple as rethinking your online shopping habit. We know it feels good in the moment, but when the cardboard from your Amazon parcels are strewn across the floor, how long does the satisfied buzz really last? If you find yourself back online within a few days, this could be a good habit to try and mix up.
Up for a challenge? The next time you add your items to the online shopping cart, soak up the little dopamine fix by imagining you’ve pressed ‘buy now’ but instead of proceeding to the checkout – make a quick mental note of the total price… and just empty it instead.
You’ll have just saved yourself money that you would normally have spent, but you’ve followed a key part of your usual shopping ritual that will hopefully give you the feel-good boost without any buyer’s remorse.
Bonus challenge: If you’re feeling extra motivated, you could even put the money you were about to spend into a savings account. Go on, give it a go!
Build your financial know-how
We all stress out about money (or at least, it adds to our other stresses) at times, so there’s nothing to feel bad or guilty about if it’s happening to you. We’re in this boat together.
Loqbox was actually created because the younger sister of one of the founders had been refused credit to buy a new sofa. Since then, the team has been focused on helping people achieve a happier and healthier relationship with money.
Our financial lives don’t need an extra layer of mystery that makes the topic of money harder than it already is. A whopping 20.3 million people in the UK aren’t feeling confident about managing their money. But we know that by spotting the connection between this lack of confidence and lack of knowledge, then you can take the first step to mastering your money.
With a Loqbox membership, you can access a personalised financial plan that’s tailored just for you. You’ll also receive a regular email with access to our Loqbox Learn series (AKA a crash course in what you’d been taught about money in school). You’ll be a part of a community of over a million people building their credit now, to have a brighter future tomorrow.
Learn more about how Loqbox works here.
Lastly, find a place to talk about it
How great does it feel when you get something off your chest? It can feel like such a relief when you hear that other people are going through similar situations (not because you wish misfortune on them, but rather because you realise you weren’t alone in feeling this way, after all).
You may have a close friend or family member you can confide in. But as money feels like such a taboo subject, it can be difficult to be vulnerable and start talking about it. If you’d prefer a little more anonymity, you could try an online forum and learn some tips from others along the way.
On a serious note, if you’re overwhelmed due to debt and need to speak to a professional, get in touch with StepChange. They can help you with expert advice and money guidance on a free and confidential basis.