When is the last time you were tossing and turning all night because of financial stress? According to a 2016 CreditCards.com survey, 68 percent of women lose sleep over money stress, as compared to 56 percent of men.
There are a number of potential reasons why men tend to rest (slightly) easier than women when it comes to finance, including the wage gap and the fact that women live longer but have less retirement savings. These are legitimate and worrisome issues that give women a good reason to fret into the wee hours.
But no matter what is triggering your personal financial stress, worrying about money can do a whammy on everything from your productivity to your health.
Thankfully, it’s possible to end your money stress and improve your financial outlook, no matter where you are financially. Here’s how:
Recognize That You Are in Control
You may dream about finally achieving financial security—that mythical state when you have enough money to handle anything that life throws at you.
Except that is giving control to your money. You need to recognize that you (and not your money) can handle life’s financial problems. Any enormous fortune (even Oprah’s!), could be wiped out by a large enough catastrophe—but a woman in total control of herself can handle a catastrophe, whether or not the money is there.
So how do you convince yourself of your wicked awesome skills if you’re used to feeling stressed about money? Researchers have found two exercises to help you feel more in control:
- Speak to yourself by name, rather than saying “I” or “me.”
- Recall a time you felt like you handled something like a boss, whether or not the situation was money-related. This will boost your confidence.
Lean into Your Psychology
The basics of money management have never changed: track your spending, increase your savings, and pay off debt. The best way to do these things, however, will often depend on how you personally react to money.
Save Up $1,000
There’s a reason why this refrain is on the Personal Finance Greatest Hits record: having money set aside in case of an emergency can ease moments of acute financial stress, like a surprise bill or a car repair.
But you might be wondering just where in blazes you’re supposed to find a spare grand lying around. Thankfully, it’s not as difficult as it might sound:
You Don’t Need to Stress
Financial stress is not an inevitable part of modern life. You can end your financial stress by accepting that you are in control, finding a money management method that fits your psychology, and setting aside an emergency fund.
You’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time.