5 Ways to Deal with Financial Stress

Are you feeling overwhelmed by financial stress? You're not alone. Financial stress doesn't discriminate—it can creep into your thoughts at work or follow you to bed, causing anxiety and worry. If these scenarios feel all too familiar, look no further. To help you tackle financial stress head-on we've compiled 5 effective strategies that will empower you to take control of your finances and kick financial stress to the curb. 

#1: Be Honest About Your Current Finances (Even If It Hurts) 

73% of Americans cite finances as their number one source of stress in life. While anyone can experience these negative emotions, the brunt of them is felt by those with limited financial resources and mounting debt.

While navigating all of this might seem like a defeating task at first for some, it’s a paramount first step to take in addressing the situation and improving upon it in the long term. 

Everyone’s situation is unique, so don’t worry if you’re not sure where to start. 

Below we’ll cover some essential, actionable steps you can take to inch closer to those goals over time.

#2: Create a Plan of Action

If your destination is a financially secure and stress-free future, you’ll need a roadmap, AKA a plan of action. A plan of action will guide you to manage your money more efficiently, make informed decisions, and work towards a secure financial future.

Financial planning can take many forms depending on your needs, desires, and creativity. Think of what will provide the most financial security for you and your loved ones, consequently lowering and eliminating your financial stress. For many, this includes paying down debt and building up an emergency fund.

No matter your specifics, a well-structured financial plan of action should include:

Your long-term financial goals, such as:

  • Paying off $X in debt
  • Saving $X
  • Retirement planning
  • Insurance coverage
  • Tax planning

The small daily and weekly steps you will take to reach long-term goals, such as:

  • How often and how much of your debt you will pay
  • How often, how much, and where you will save
  • Regular financial reviews
  • Specific timelines

#3: Lock Down the Basics

You know where you are and where you want to go – now you must gather the basic tools to help you get there. Building a strong financial foundation with these tools will protect you against unexpected challenges like emergency expenses and surprise bills. The basics consist of, financial literacy, budgeting, saving, and investing.

Financial Literacy

Financial literacy empowers individuals to make informed and responsible decisions about their money to improve their financial well-being and, in turn, their lives. Learn about key financial concepts online, through word of mouth or videos, and by reading well-respected financial books and guides.

You are already taking a step into financial literacy by reading this article and learning how to fight financial stress!


A budget provides a clear and organized framework for managing income and expenses and allocating money appropriately to create achievable financial goals. There are plenty of blogs, videos, and apps that can guide you but a brief budget overview includes:

  • Calculate your total income, including salary, side gigs, gifts, raises, bonuses, and even the $5 you found in your pocket last laundry day.
  • List monthly expenses and categorize them into needs (housing, food, medicine, transportation) and wants (e.g., shopping, entertainment, eating out).
  • Compare income and expenses to identify potential areas for adjustments and savings.
  • Repeat this process daily, weekly, or monthly.


Many would agree that having savings lowers financial stress, creating a buffer between you and potential scarcity. 

Setting aside money for savings can be a great way to ensure that you're prepared for unexpected expenses and able to achieve your long-term financial goals. After budgeting, you’ll ideally have a few bucks – or more! – leftover at the end of the month. While attacking your debt is admirable, consider putting even a small percentage of that money toward an emergency fund or general savings. 

  • Automate your savings to take them out of your checking and into a separate account at least once a month.
  • Choose a high-interest savings account to get more bang for your buck.


Investing allows your money to work for you instead of having you slave away for money. Beat inflation, grow your potential returns, and learn how the rich keep getting richer through investing.

  • Learn about investment options from books, podcasts, blogs, videos, friends, family, and mentors. Examples include stocks, bonds, real estate, REITs, mutual funds, and more.
  • Learn about your risk tolerance (online risk tolerance tests are a good place to start).
  • Start small and diversify your portfolio.

#4 Find Support and Expert Advice

Remember, you don't have to navigate financial stress alone. Seek guidance from others who can offer valuable perspectives and professional expertise.

  • Speak openly with a trusted friend or relative who can offer valuable perspectives on taking control of their finances.
  • Consider meeting with a community partner that offers financial resources/consults or a certified financial planner.

#5 Practice Self-Care and Stress Management

Eradicating financial stress goes beyond your bank’s balance; you'll also need to address your relationship with money and yourself.

  • Start by exploring your beliefs and understanding about finances. Dive into where they came from and be sure you define what “enough” means to you.
  • Incorporate self-care activities to help you relax, including exercise, meditation, or spending time outside.
  • Seek emotional support through counseling, groups, friends, or family when financial burdens become overwhelming.

Be patient and celebrate your progress, no matter how small. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

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