6 Ways to de-stress your financial life

For most of us, life is a blur of pressures and demands that all add to the stress of modern living. Financial worries often make things worse, affecting our relationships and both our mental and physical health.

Our heavenly Father wants us to enjoy a full, abundant life free from the cares and stresses that confidence in money and other material possessions brings. Rather then trusting in a worldly system that cannot assure our welfare of relying on our own weak capabilities to provide for our own needs, He calls us to depend entirely on Him.

If you feel like your personal finances are out of control, following the steps below will help you lose that panicky feeling and de-stress your financial life:

1. Track your expenditure Put God First

Pray about your financial life and God will hear your prayer.  You may need a prayer for money when you're having trouble making ends meet. Sometimes we must ask God for a financial blessing to get out of debt, or provide for our families. With Faith, God will provide a way our or wisdom. Either way God will provide. (Matthew 6:33)

[adsenseyu1]2. Track your expenditure

Before you can make any changes to your spending habits, you need to work out where your money is going. Start by looking at bank statements from the previous three months to get an idea of your spending patterns. By looking back in time you’ll be able to pick up unhealthy habits – buying too much expensive takeaway food every weekend, for example. You’ll be able to get a clearer idea of how much goes towards the basics like rent, food and transport, and how much is going towards nice-to-haves or luxuries. Suddenly you’ll get a realistic picture of how much that daily coffee is costing you every month.

3. Sort out your priorities

Once you’ve got an idea of where your money is going, you can start thinking about your spending priorities. It’s pretty obvious what you have to spend on – the more difficult part is working out whether to spend on the things you want, but don’t really need. Back to that daily coffee again – is it really necessary? Can you cut out even 5 coffees a month, and put the money you save towards something else? It’s also important to understand your “money triggers”. If you get very generous on nights out with your friends, for example, then maybe you need to be stricter on these occasions and set yourself a spending limit.

Armed with the information gained in Step 1 and Step 2, you’ll be able to draw up a budget to help guide you in the coming months.

4. Pay off debt

By examining your spending habits and drawing up a budget based on these, you’ll also get a clear idea of all your debts. Make another list of these, and the minimum repayments that you need to make on each of them. Then, ensure that you make the minimum payment on all your debts – and use whatever extra you may have to first pay off the debts that have the highest interest.

5. Start saving – however little

Once you’ve drawn up a budget, and allocated money to paying off debts, try making an attempt to save something. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small amount to begin with – every bit helps, and setting a small amount aside every month will get you into the habit of saving. Better still, put your savings into a fixed-term account so that you won’t be tempted to spend it.

6. Give yourself a “blow-it” budget

All work and no play can make you very disheartened about paying off debt and allocating money to savings. If possible, budget some money every month to spend on whatever you want, without feeling guilty. This should encourage you to keep on saving what you can.