5 Ways To Reduce The Stress Of Living Paycheck-To-Paycheck
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Stress is a part of life, and financial stress can be very debilitating. If you’re someone who is living paycheck-to-paycheck and you constantly feel like your personal finances are a house of cards, you aren’t alone.
According to recent data, approximately 63% to 64% of Americans — equivalent to 166 million people — were living paycheck to paycheck as of November or the end of 2022. And it isn’t just low earners feeling the pinch, even those earning over $100,000 per year (which is around 8 million people) are included in this group.
If you find yourself in this group of Americans, here are a few ways to alleviate your stress.
How To Reduce The Stress Of Living Paycheck-To-Paycheck
Find Gratitude In What You Have Versus What You Don’t
It’s easy to compare yourself to others. It’s easy to want more money, a nicer house, a more luxurious car. The upside of wanting those things is they might drive you to achieve them. The downside is they can cause you unnecessary stress, envy and put you in a bad mental state.
It is important to remind yourself that things could (usually) always be worse. So turn your negative thoughts into positives by expressing gratitude for what you do have.
Put Your Financial Fears On Paper And Analyze Them
Writing your money fears down, especially when you are living paycheck-to-paycheck, will allow you to see what is real and what is in your head. This practice will help you to.
- Identify your misconceptions
- Develop strategies
- Reframe your perspective
Take the time to journal about your financial worries and get them out of your head. Free yourself from their negative influence.
Take Action To Improve Your Situation
When you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck life can seem overwhelming. It feels like you are never going to escape the rat race. And that might be true if you set unrealistic goals. When your goals are unrealistic, you might think to yourself “whats the point of making small contributions to an investment account, I’ll never get to $5 million this way.” That is why you should focus on consistent small actions. They can lead to significant outcomes. Consider implementing the following steps:
- Create and stick to a budget
- Monitor your expenses
- Keep track of your net worth
- Automate payments
- Direct deposit funds into an emergency savings account
None of these actions require a lot of time, but they will benefit you greatly over time.
Find Ways To Make More Money
There are hundreds (possibly thousands) of lucrative side hustles. And you can find them in just about any field. You don’t need to turn yourself into a freelancer on Fiverr if you hate writing or working online. Maybe your strengths are elsewhere. Maybe you enjoy driving or you love building furniture. In those instances, you can find ways to make money with Uber or Taskrabbit.
Also, when you are busy trying to earn more, you have less time to spend money. This effect will compound over time. And who knows, maybe a side hustle that you love will become your full-time job some day? It can happen!
Surround Yourself With The Right People
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn has claimed that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
You can’t pick your family, but you can pick your friends and spouse. And if you are constantly being dragged down by negative people who are unsupportive or unmotivated, it’s time to analyze your circle.
Finding the right support system can make or break your life and career. Choose wisely.
We live in an age where uncertain times are always around the corner. Understanding that and learning how to cope with your financial and emotional stress in a productive way will lead you to greater heights.