One of the most common causes of stress in life and in relationships is money. With that being the case, finding a way to improve your financial stability, you can decrease your level of stress driving and improvement your life and relationships.
Personal Finance Equation
One of the most obvious ways to improve financial stability is to find a way to increase one’s level of income. Unfortunately, most of us have fairly limited control over making this happen in the short-term. The area where we do have control in the short-term is the area of controlling expenses.
By placing attention on decreasing and controlling expenses, the gap between money coming in and money going out will increase. This gap is technically referred to as discretionary income and is basically the money that you have left over after you pay everything that must be paid in order to survive and meet obligations. Discretionary income is like a cushion and the smaller it is, the more stress we are likely to have when it comes to money and finances. Thus, if you can effectively control and decrease expenses, you will in increase your discretionary income and this should improve your financial stability and decrease stress.
While this concept is not revolutionary, it is an area where the typical person can find room for improvement in the way that they are managing their costs and expenses. Below are some of the areas where attention can be placed to drive some positive results.
Decrease food costs: Depending on your lifestyle, the amount of money spent on food is typically an area that has room to trim fat – no pun intended.
Decrease recurring costs: Evaluate your monthly and annual recurring costs for any improvements that can be made to decrease costs and improve financial stability. This is somewhat of a sweet spot as the improvements you make will continue to provide savings month after month and year after year. Key areas to look at are utilities, communications, entertainment, and transportation.
Do it yourself: Look for opportunities where you are paying someone else for work that you can do yourself.
Spread out purchases: Regardless of how tight of a ship you try to run, there are simply purchases that need to be made. Although, sometimes we can spread out purchases or delay purchases and by doing this can decrease your monthly expenses.
Purchase decision making process: If you are not already using one, try to implement some sort of decision making process when it comes to purchases. Establish clarity between needs and wants and identify the impact and long-term financial implications for purchases being considered.
If you can find savings in these areas, you will decrease your expenses and increase your discretionary income. This will increase your gap between the money you have coming in and the money you have going out and will improve your level of financial stability. The net result will be a decrease in stress and improvement in happiness.