How is stress related to saving? Well, you certainly don’t have enough fingers and toes to count them all! Stress makes you buy that chocolate bar, or go out with your friends, or order Chinese food when there are leftovers in the refrigerator. Stress can make you do a lot of little things that can hack $40 a month from your wallet. There are sure to be plenty of better ways to spend $40.
Problem: Stress spending. This is a serious issue. Some call it “retail therapy”; others call it “the easy way”. To sum it all up, let’s call it flushing money down the toilet. Many parents turn to fast-food dinners for their children on their way home from work because they are too stressed to want to cook. RED ALERT! Not only are you spending hard-earned money, but are also stuffing unhealthy food into your children at late hours! Need a solution?
Solution one: Don’t stress spend! You try to teach your children to avoid dangerous places, and it’s the same general principle for stress. Stay out of the drive-thrus and strip malls. No more gas stations for Donut Sticks and Oreo’s. Cut that thinking out of your mind altogether. How do you save money? By not spending it!
Solution two: Take pre-stress steps. If you know it’s going to be a hard day at work, think of a relaxing way to spend your break. If you pack lunch, bring something that makes you feel warm inside and eat somewhere private. Give your mind a break. Have a ten minute conversation with a funny friend. Laughing is a great way to beat the mundane. Go home if you have the time. Play with your pet or watch some television. Kick off your shoes and drink some Yoo-hoo! Whatever brings you back to center so you can combat the rest of your day.
Solution three: If you can’t stop spending, plan to spend. There’s that word again, “plan”. If you hate your job every day you may want to look for a new job. If you can make the week without your hair falling out, find ways to reduce stress. It follows the “treat yourself” rule, but it means minor spending, like buying a candle or treating yourself once a week to a guilty pleasure. Supposed you treat yourself to McDonalds when you’re having a bad day at work. If every day is a stressful day, you’ll be ordering that McChicken, small fries and hot chocolate every day! That’s five dollars daily, which in turn, is $25 dollars a week. If you’re a smart cookie, you know that’s $100 a month. WHOA! How about on Friday you buy that same meal and get two McChickens instead? That’s $24 a month. That is a huge difference.
You don’t need a black belt to fight the effects of stress on your wallet. You need a clear mind and some guidance. If you know any inexpensive ways to relieve stress let us know! We’d love to hear them.