Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Our Finances Suck Part 10 - Coping With The Stress

So it's been a few weeks since I did a blog post in the Our Finances Suck Series, mainly because we have been busy, busy with an exchange student here for three weeks.

She has gone home now and I can breathe a small sigh of relief because we can return to toasted sandwiches for dinner!!

Financial stress can really take a toll on you so as part of this series I have the amazing Sasha, psychologist extraordinaire, who blogs over at From The Left Field sharing her words of wisdom on how to deal with all of stress that comes with financial worries....

"Money, money, money…. It can bring the best of times and the worst of times.  It’s awesome when you have money, but when you don’t? It makes you want to reach for the wine. Oh hang on, you don’t have any money for wine. Crap. Well, this sucks, doesn’t it?

It’s no wonder that money problems rate as one of the main causes for arguments in the household. It covers so many things, and impacts on us all in a big way. When you’re trying to juggle a family and make your dollars stretch, it can bring a ton of stress. Stress on you, stress on your partner, stress on your kids.

When we get into that money spiral, it can really impact on our wellbeing. And when we’re strung out, we’re not taking good care of ourselves. Which of course makes managing home and money even harder, and before we know it we’re going around in circles.

While sometimes there’s not much we can do about the money, there are things we can do for ourselves to help cope with any financial stress that might arise:

  • Self-talk is the key. If you’re constantly saying to yourself “this is too much!” “how are we going to survive?” “We’ve got no money!” “We won’t cope!”, then  of course you’re going to feel stressed! It’s one of the biggest things we need to keep in our minds- it’s not the situation that makes us feel a certain way, it’s how we think about the situation. If we can think about things in a more balanced way (not positive, because having no money really sucks!), then we’re going to feel calmer and more able to deal with the challenges that lie ahead.  Try reminding yourself of thoughts like “we will get through this”, “there’s ways we can cope”, “it’s not always going to be like this” and “we just need to take one step at a time” to help keep you on track.

  •  And while we’re looking at talking, outside of self-talk, talk to others too. We like talking! As the saying goes ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. Sometimes just getting it off your chest, and bouncing some money issues off another person can help you feel better, and help you to gain some perspective also. Our brains have this wonderful way of screwing with us and making us fear things are much worse than they are. Support from those around us is very important when it comes to dealing with stress!

  • If you’re not a big talker- then write it down. It’s all about getting that stress out of your system. A handy little idea is a ‘good stuff’ book. A little pocket notebook you can keep with you, to record any little ‘wins’ you might have, or times where you overcame that stress. So that in moments of utter hair-tearing out panic, you can flip through and physically see and read all the evidence that shows you things are going to pan out
  • Shake it off! Get out and get moving. Or listen to Taylor Swift if that’s your thang. But that recommendation didn’t come from me. If you’re feeling the stress, exercise is your friend. It doesn’t have to mean a huge chunk of time out of your day, but just a quick walk, or jog, or even star jumps. Grab a short workout from YouTube and follow along. Jump on the kid’s trampoline- that is some therapeutic stuff right there.

  •   Look at your options. Problem solve it- what alternatives do you have at the moment? What can you control and what is out of your control? Mapping this out goes a long way to reducing stress.

You may have a few great tricks up your sleeve that you like to use also when it comes to stress- use whatever you need to. But remember that the money problems aren’t going to get any easier if you stay stressed. Best to get that stuff in check and then you’ll feel more able to manage financial issues.

If you’re really struggling, you might want to check out some free e-sites (e-couch, moodgym), there’s financial counsellors around who could help (could even be some free ones), and if the stress is just getting way too much, then it might be time to go and see your GP for a chat to see if there’s some options available. There are psychs around who bulk bill so it doesn’t cost you a cent.

After reading all the stress money can bring, I’m thinking that living a life of an eccentric hobo in a cave is sounding pretty good right now. If eating questionable berries ain’t your thing though, make sure you get that stress out!"

Financial stress really does do your head in!!  It is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning and the last thing on your mind at night.  

Sasha has some great tips here.....getting out of the house and going for a walk is something I do when I get the chance, as is trying to have positive thoughts, I know that this is just a particularly bad patch that we are going through and hubby is busy at work now so money should start coming in again soon so think positive, but also learn from what has caused your financial problems and try to find a solution....looking for some free financial advice is a great idea!

Thank you so much for sharing with us today Sasha, it has been a privelege to have you here.  Be sure to check out Sasha's blog over at From The Left Field....this gal is a wealth of information....and she's due to have a baby any day now....and who doesn't love stalking newborns...please tell me I'm not the only one!!!!

Linking up with Essentially Jess fir #IBOT


  1. I have 3 kids and I can tell you I am AMAZED at how much that costs. And it's constant. Uniforms, excursions and all the other school age crap. It's stressful. Then you have to feed them....

    1. It is never ending once they start schooling isn't it Lydia!

  2. What great tips - money worries are certainly not fun! Sometimes it just seems like it's bills after bills after bills!

    1. I totally agree Lucy, one bill after another....when will they stop!!!!

  3. Yes, running a family home costs a fortune! I find taking control of the finances the best way to deal with stress. Making decisions to cut down on costs here or there and then not thinking about it again for a while. Of course, then an unexpected cost sideblinds you and you have to start again! #TeamIBOT

    1. Ugh the unexpected expenses are the absolute worst!!!!

  4. I usually only want to be a hobo in a cave when I'm commuting to work haha.

  5. My inlaws have always maintained that when money is tight, you need to look after your relationship, because it's the first thing to be impacted. It's good advice. Stress is awful.

    1. That is truly brilliant advice from your inlaws Jess!!

  6. Thanks for having me lovely!! Love this series you've put together! x