Woman with debts

Are you stressed about money? You are not alone. In 2015, a survey by the American Psychology Association showed that 72% of Americans were stressed about money in one month alone. That is a lot of worrying. Not to mention the stresses of finances hits mothers the hardest. Not many of us know how to deal with financial stress and it takes a toll on our family.

In this article, I will talk about the cause of financial stress and give you tips to deal with them, run a smoother household, and get a better nights rest.

Main contributors to financial stress

There are many reasons people have to deal with financial stress and as a parent, the reasons can increase when you are responsible for others. Some of the top reasons some people are under financial stress include:

Erasing DebtPaying off debt

According to a 2016 study by Nerdwallet, the average U.S. household has a credit card debt balance of  $16,748, and the average household with any kind of debt owes $134,643.

Paying off credit card bills, medical bills, and college loans can really weigh on a person and cause stress and anxiety.

Not being able to retire

For many people over the age of 45, their second financial stress is worrying if they will be able to retire. In fact, 59% of those aged 45- 64 not only worry will they have enough money to retire but if they will have enough money to do what they desire later in life.

No money for an emergency expense

With many people struggling to keep up with debt and expenses it is hard to put away extra money for savings. Not to mention, those who have lower incomes have an even harder struggle saving for a rainy day and for most it is their number one stressor.

According to Gallup, 55 percent of Americans say they are worried about not being able to cover emergency expenses. This can make many feel as if they are always broke and live in constant fear of the future.

Education expensesLaw School cost

Paying for a college education is stressful for many. According to CNBC,  98 percent of college applicants and their parents said that they would need financial aid to help pay for college. Not to mention out of 10,000 respondents, 66 percent of them reported high levels of stress.

College expenses continue to rise every year but still for most it is worth the stress.

Unstable income

An unstable income can make it hard to budget your expenses. So those faced with uncertainty find dealing with finances a lot more stressful than those with a more stable income. In states with a higher unemployment rate, this is something other may face more often. Having an unstable income can leave you feeling trapped and in constant fear.

Paying off rent/mortgage

Your mortgage and rent is the most important expense you have and your mortgage is often the largest and longest debt you owe. Because of things like income fluctuations and increased debt, paying your rent and mortgage can often become harder to pay. Knowing it is the most important debt can drain you emotionally.

How to Deal With Financial Stress

It may not be possible to eliminate financial stress but there are ways to help calm your bodies stress responses so that you can better deal with the stress and work through the complications.

The best way to deal with financial stress for most is to be smarter with your money and your choices. Change your perspective on your finances and find new ways to handle each situation. Here are a few tips to help you deal with the top causes of financial stress.

UK Treasury Budget1. Create a Budget

Starting a budget is always the first step and best way to help with financial stress. Budgeting helps give you a full perspective on what and how you can spend your money. It will help you get closer to any saving goals and retirement plans.

Starting a budget will be difficult but once you get the hang of it you will not have to spend as much time on it and you will spend less time worrying about your money. I keep a journal and I make a monthly budget so that I can set realistic goals each month.

2. Determine What You Can Change

Often financial stress is due to an income or spending issue or both. If your income is low then figure out ways to improve it. Like going back to school so you can get a higher paying job. If you have trouble spending then try getting help possibly from a Shopaholics Anonymous group or have your partner help.

Start small and make realistic steps – change takes time. Simply changes like eating out once less each week or getting a cheaper cable package can make a big difference.

3. Start Your Emergency FundLife buoy with dollars banknote. 3D

An emergency fund is one of the top financial worries of most of us but putting it off will only add to the worries. Building an emergency fund will seem overwhelming at first especially when you live pay check to pay check, so start small. Even putting $20 away at first is better than nothing.

4. Decide What You Can Afford

Paying for college can be stressful but it is an expense most parents must face. If you haven’t saved enough money for your child’s first choice school try a less expensive option. If possible your child may want to start out at a community college and transfer to save on cost. Your children should apply for scholarships and grants and if possible work so that they can participate in a work-study program.

5. Ask for Help

Sometimes the stress of finances is more than one person can handle. If you are struggling to get a hold of your finances it is okay to look to others for help. If you are overwhelmed by debt there are free credit counseling services that can help by coaching you through budgeting and other services. A financial planner can help prepare you for things like retirement and long-term investments. Talking to a friend or family member can give you support and an outsiders perspective on your situation.


Financial stress is something we all may face. You may think that having more money is the solution to your problems but truthfully even rich people worry about money.

Remember, change takes time so being hard your self will only add to your self. Start with realistic goals so you have an easier time sticking to them. Focus on what you want to achieve and not how much money you have. Take a positive outlook on your situation and believe in the change.

Are you facing any of these financial stressors? Are there any tips I may have missed? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.


8 thoughts on “How to Deal With Financial Stress – 5 Strategies to Help”

  1. I don’t think there was ever a more relevant time for how to deal with financial stress than now with all the issues present currently. As technology moves forward, and our lives get progressively busier, it’s really only going to exacerbate things even further. Between student loans, mortgages, bad credit, etc it gets increasingly harder to balance it all, and that really starts to, unfortunately, take a toll. You’ve raised some relevant points on how to deal with it though, but I personally think asking for help would be a huge help. I mean why not ask for help from someone who’s already managing it you know.

    1. Hi Jasmere,
      You make a very valid point and one a lot of us take for granted, why not ask for help from someone who knows how to manage something we need to deal with. Sometimes our pride may get in the way of us getting the help we really deserve. I agree also that times are making it much harder to balance with the increased amount of debts we face today. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Hello Melissa,
    I really appreciate this article. It is so timely. I am wondering though if you have more ideas of where to go for people who might really need ideas for stress management and spending?
    In peace and gratitude, Ariel

    1. Hi Ariel,
      I am grateful you appreciate the article and I are glad it came at the right time. You have apps that can help you budget and save such as Mint and Acorns which are hands-off tools to help users save more and spend less. There is an app that helps you organize and pay bills like Prism. My bank WellsFargo has tools to set up goals to help you save and can automatically transfer money into your savings at a set time of your choosing.
      Thanks for the comment, I hope that answered your question.

  3. Thank you for this! I have been in the process of getting my finances in order and it is really about sitting down and making sure to create a realistic budget. You have to make compromises in order to live comfortably in the future!

    1. You couldn’t have said it any better. I am glad it was helpful and thank you for the comment!

  4. For me, it is all about taking control of your business affairs. Nothing should be left up to chance. Understand the reality of your situation and act accordingly.

    1. I agree with you, Maurice.Taking chances equals risk and taking control equals success.

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