They say money can’t buy happiness. However, face it: it can certainly buy you peace of mind. When bills pile up, it’s still a long way ‘til payday, and you can barely scrounge enough funds for tomorrow’s lunch. It can drive anyone mad. It affects millions of people over the world. Moreover, studies show that it is the number one cause of relationship problems and can even affect your health. Chronic stress brought about by money problems causes fatigue, overeating, and heart disease. Yikes.
But short of winning the lottery—which brings with it a whole new and different set of stressors—how can you get out of money woes realistically? Financial security is something that you work through as time passes, but there are things that you can start doing now that would, if not completely remove, lessen the stress you go through about money daily. Here are five of them.
It might seem counter-intuitive—how can you save anything when you’re stressed about not having enough money in the first place? You can do it incrementally, save a few hundred pesos here and there, even coins can help. The Internet is full of viral stories of people who decided to accumulate their five peso coins and 50-peso bills and ended up with thousands of pesos just after a few months. Saving money is always the first step towards financial security.
Pay your debts
Say you got a bonus from work and you decided to use all of it to pay your debts (as you should), you should pay the ones with the highest interest first. Paying off that debt sooner will save you a lot of money, then work your way towards the rest of your other obligations. Paying off credit cards should also be a priority—a 3.5% interest is no joke and is making a huge impact on your finances without you knowing it.
Write down a budget
Not many of us sit down and make a list of all our earnings and expenses monthly. You should. It gives you a clear picture of your finances and helps you pinpoint where the problem lies. Are you not earning to cover even your most basic bills? Maybe you should get a second job. Are you having way too many glasses of 200-peso Frappuccinos? It might show you that you can’t afford that new SmartTV now, even if you are paying on installment. A well-planned budget is your map towards freedom from financial worries.
Invest and plan for the future
Most of our anxiety comes from not knowing what’s going to happen in the future. Would I still be earning enough? Will I be able to send my kids to good schools? Am I set for a long and healthy retirement? Start saving for it then, and make your money work for you. Most companies offer employees stock options and mutual fund investments that could help you manage your finances long-term. Get in on that. VUL plans like FWD Manifest and FWD Set for Life give you access to investment funds while, at the same time, staying financially protected.
Open a small, low-risk business. Invest in the stock market. Nowadays, investing is so easy there are even YouTube tutorials that could help you do it. But if you want professional advice, talk to a financial advisor who can help you set up the right financial plan for your needs and goals. Sign up to set up an appointment.
If you want to have investments and, at the same time, protection against the financial burden of critical illnesses and unexpected medical concerns, go for FWD Health Protection plans. They have built-in benefits that encourage health and total wellbeing.
When things get too overwhelming, always remember that money is something you CAN and WILL earn. It may not be enough now, but it’s not always going to be like that, especially if you follow the advice above. Don’t let it get in the way of more important things, such as fulfillment, relationships, and your health. At the end of the day, these other things are the ones that complete you, make you strong, and make you happy. Because money—with all the things that it can give you—can’t buy you happiness. But it can make your journey toward happiness comfortable and worry-free.