Financial stress isn’t the easiest thing to avoid because many factors contribute to financial stability, and they aren’t all constant. While some of these stresses might seem routine occasionally, this stress can intensify, leading to sleeplessness, health issues, marital disputes, and many poor decisions that prevent us from achieving sound financial health.
Let’s identify the behaviors resulting from financial stress, so we can control them before they control our well-being in various aspects.
Financial stress often stems from the fear that we won’t have enough money, regardless of our bank balance. If we spend, we feel happy, albeit temporarily, and thereby we mitigate that fear by proving our ability to buy anything. But once this transient happiness fades, the fear returns, possibly even stronger since we’ve spent more.
Hence, we shop again to alleviate that fear, creating a vicious cycle that leads us to make impulsive decisions, overspending, and thus exceeding our budget.
2. Excessive Scrutiny of Expenditures
Another response to the fear of insufficient funds is excessive scrutiny over any purchase, ensuring we save every penny without compromising on quality. But as the balance between value and quality isn’t always attainable, we may overthink before making any purchase.
We keep searching for better deals and sustainable options, especially in today’s mobile age where options seem limitless. Sadly, this often just exhausts our time, energy, and peace without necessarily resulting in any significant savings.
3. Delaying Payments and Settling Dues
Stress might push you to delay payments, firstly to avoid the immediate feeling of loss and secondly in hope of a better financial situation in the future. For instance, you might want a particular brand but settle for a cheaper alternative, or dream of an easier lifestyle but hesitate to realize even a small part of it.
Unfortunately, this postponement doesn’t always help, as when delaying credit card installment payments or neglecting your health care. Additionally, it results in frustration due to the lack of a reward for your efforts in earning money.
4. Lack of Decisiveness in Financial Decisions
Sometimes, financial stress has no logical basis, with emotions taking charge. And as they are inherently volatile, anyone who constantly gives in to them might become incapable of making any decision, a condition termed “analysis paralysis”. This confusion might arise from excessive perfectionism or past financial traumas and fear of failure, especially for those who’ve endured tough financial times.
But without a decisive decision, the risk of exploitation increases, like being convinced by a bad deal or settling for low wages from employers.
5. Owning too many things
Those who are financially stressed are always keen on not losing any money. Hence, they hold onto many items and possessions even if they no longer need them. They don’t want to lose their financial value and don’t want to repurchase them should they need them someday.
Consequently, the accumulation of things becomes an additional burden, increasing the feeling of anxiety. It’s noteworthy that the financially stressed tend to keep buying items in large quantities: firstly, in anticipation of any future needs, and secondly because shopping becomes a false source of feeling secure and stable.
In conclusion, it’s worth mentioning the robust and thriving U.S. economy, which remains strong despite fluctuations in global markets. Thanks to the measures taken by the government, during the first half of 2022, the U.S. achieved growth rates that were the highest in over 10 years. This is an unequivocal national indication of the importance of proper planning and sound financial management in combating the causes of stress.