Money can’t buy happiness, right? It’s an age-old saying to ease the worries about money. However, money and financial worries are still one of the leading stress triggers among adults today. In many households, there are no longer college savings, vacation savings, or any other savings accounts.
A great many people are living paycheck to paycheck more than ever before. Either there are no extra dollars left to put into an account or reckless spending prohibits the ability to save. No matter what the cause, knowing there is no safety net or nest egg has skyrocketed stress levels in many individuals.
Reasons Why Stress and Money Destroy Happiness
Unfortunately, money does seem to play an enormous role in our overall happiness and levels of stress. Here are just a few reasons why a lack of money causes a lot of stress and unhappiness.
Nobody ever wants to think of a catastrophe that could cause someone to be unable to work and provide for their family. However, it’s one of the most stressful situations in households. It’s scary not knowing if your family will be able to survive should the breadwinner of the family fall ill or be injured.
Several things can trigger this worry. You may see a friend, or coworker, or hear about someone that has fallen on hard times as a result of not having an emergency account.
Slowly, the worry creeps in, “What if this happens to my family?”
With the cost of living getting higher in many places around the world, it feels impossible to find funds to save in case of an emergency.
Putting entire paychecks aside for the rainy-day fund isn’t feasible for the majority of people. If they could it would certainly eradicate a lot of stress. A more realistic approach might be to adjust priorities and stick to a budget.
Illness is not the only reason why someone could be put out of work. Layoffs, it seems, are on the news daily with big companies shutting down or moving to another country. This also leads to high stress levels among families.
People have bills to pay and if someone is laid off it makes it quite difficult to make ends meet. There have been several shutdowns where families have had to rely on whatever type of savings they had available just to make it through.
Money Problems Leading to Divorce
Divorce is at an all-time high these days as stressing over money can tear a relationship apart. This is one of the top reasons why a marriage ends in divorce.
In many arguments over money amongst couples, it isn’t necessarily the amount of money being made, but a huge disagreement on how it is spent.
A couple that is made up of two employed adults, making a good salary, can stress about the choices one or both people tend to make. In either case, money isn’t buying anyone any happiness, it is only causing destruction.
Does Money Really Provide Happiness?
If money can’t buy happiness, worries about it surely can cost us happiness. Stressing over finances will never completely go away. We aren’t wired that way. Most people strive to better themselves, if not for the present, then they do for the future.
In some cases, expectations may be too high and to lower stress levels they must lower their expectations. Don’t forget about them all together because then the stress about doing nothing could settle back in.
Keep communication open among loved ones and if a pattern of irresponsible spending develops, it’s better to nip it in the bud rather than wait for it to become a festering wound.
Ways to Combat Worrying About Money
Instead of fighting and worrying about money, there are several ways to ease the stress by being proactive rather than reactive. First, you are going to have to change your mindset of instant gratification to one of preparation and security. It’s like buying insurance. You may not ever need it, but if you do and don’t have it, you’re really going to find yourself in a difficult financial situation.
By employing some of these simple tactics, you can ease your stress and worry about money and stop allowing it to rob you of happiness.
As soon as your paycheck is deposited, set up automatic transfers of a small amount to your savings account. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount, but at least save something. This way, you don’t even see the money and won’t feel like it’s available to spend.
Set Up a Realistic Budget
It’s a daunting task at first, but it’s worth the work. By setting up a budget, you know exactly how much you have available for your expenses during that pay period. If you overspend, it gives you a plan for what account you are going to have to dig into in order to cover the cost, or what else you must forego to meet the expense.
Unlink Your Online Accounts
Many use online banking, which makes things extremely convenient to pay bills, etc. It also makes it too easy to buy things, and too easy to transfer money from savings to checking at the touch of a screen. If impulse buying is a problem for you, unlink your online access. Make it so you have to physically enter the bank. If it’s harder to access, you’ll be less likely to do it.
Be More Frugal
There are tons of online resources to help cut costs in all sorts of ways. Spend some time researching ways to get your favorite, high-end items at a fraction of the full retail cost. DIY-ing and repurposing are incredibly popular and more and more people are embracing the sustainable living movement. You don’t have to be a full-fledged homesteader to reap a great many of the benefits.
Money isn’t everything. If you are careful with your finances and make an effort to live within your means, while still adding to your honey pot along the way, stressing about money eventually dissolves.
Money worries don’t have to rob you of your happiness!