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  • Writer's pictureJeran Van Alfen, CFP®

3 Ways to Handle Money Stress

I was reading a book this week called Money, Master The Game by Tony Robbins. In the book, there is a section where he interviewed several billionaires and financial leaders to find out what financial advice they would give if they could only pass advice on to their families. One of his interview questions was, “Is there ever a point where money is not a worry?” Surprisingly, the answer was consistently no. They all seemed to make the point that while day to day worries may not be an issue, making the right business decisions, being charitable, and taking care of people is still a point of stress. This was a good reminder that financial worries come in all shapes and sizes and they are difficult to fully escape from. Several recent studies have confirmed that money continues to be a leading cause of stress among Americans. Since money will always continue to flow in and out of our lives, here are 3 ideas about how to handle the stress of dealing with these flows.

What are you focused on?

We are constantly bombarded with visuals of how life is “supposed” to look. There is so much advertising money being spent trying to capture your focus. We all love to post the “good pics”, so it is difficult to avoid FOMO (the fear of missing out). This all leads to stress. When this type of stress sets in, it really takes a conscious effort to pause and refocus. Here are four questions to ask yourself that will allow you to focus on what really matters and distance yourself from stressful thoughts:

  • What do you have in your life?

  • What do you feel is missing?

  • What is in your control?

  • What is not in your control?

Often the first two questions bring gratitude which pushes away stress. The last two questions allow you to focus on what is important and let go of what isn’t.

Take action

If your focus is realigned on what is in your control, it is time to do something about it. Write down your thoughts or a plan to help you get started and go to work. If you don’t make a change or create a new habit, it is easy to fall back into old thought processes and old habits. There is also strength in numbers. This is a good time to ask for help. You may know that you need to take action, but don’t know all the steps to take or how to do it correctly. Your financial planner is a coach to help you along the way and provide some accountability.

Let go of mistakes

Don’t dwell on the past. It could be a purchase that you wish you could do over or an investment that you wish you would have avoided. We all make about 5-10 financial decisions every day, so don’t look back. You can learn from the past and then move forward.

Bonus: The best things in life are free

Your time and your health are your two most important assets, so invest in them wisely.

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