10 Ways to Deal with Money Stress

Get 10 tips to deal with money stress so you create a more peaceful life.

Laura Adams, MBA
6-minute read
Episode #211

10 Tips to Deal with Money Stress

For most people, the best way to deal with financial stress is to be smarter about how you spend and to change your perspective about your situation. Here are ten tips and techniques to build up your resistance to financial stress:


  1. Change your language. Though it may sound cliché, keeping a positive attitude and using positive language can reduce your stress response to financial issues in your life. Never say that you can’t increase your income or that you should cut your spending, for instance. Instead, say I want to increase my income or I will cut my spending. A shift in your language is the first step to a shift in your mental attitude.

  2. Reframe your thinking. How you view your finances and speak about them can change the way you feel about them. In turn, how you feel about your money will strongly influence how you manage it and deal with challenges. Remember that actions are always preceded by thoughts and beliefs. 

  3. Recognize your power. In general, people tend to get more stressed when they believe a situation is out of their control. That’s why many people get really uncomfortable traveling on an airplane. When it comes to your money, you always have the power to make a difference, so recognize that choices exist for you to improve any financial problem. 

  4. Focus on the positive. Instead of dwelling on what’s wrong with your finances, think about what you have to be grateful for. Notice what’s going right, make peace with your problems, and decide to learn from your challenges. Many people keep a gratitude journal where they write down a few things that they’re thankful for each day.

  5. Stay in the present. Many times financial stress comes from projecting a worse-case scenario into the future. You can exaggerate a situation in your mind to the point that your heart starts pounding and your palms start sweating. Remind yourself that you’re not in the future—you’re in the present moment where you have complete control.

  6. Reject thoughts of failure. Never believe that a financial challenge is a sign of personal failure or weakness. Whatever your situation, remind yourself that it’s nothing that millions of other people haven’t struggled with. Heck, some of the wealthiest people—like Donald Trump—have gone through serious financial rough patches. You and your family can grow stronger by proactively working through your money issues.

  7. Take a stress break. Make a conscious decision to do something healthy to take your mind off your stress. Maybe it’s playing with your dog or kids, going for a run, enjoying a hobby, watching a movie, listening to music, or doing yoga.

  8. Get financial help. Talking to a wise friend, a family member, or a financial professional can help you see options and solutions to your financial problems that you might be overlooking. Working with a financial coach or planner is a smart way to get back on track so you feel more in control and optimistic about your situation.

  9. Reduce your debt. If debt is stressing you out, get serious about creating a spending plan so you can free up more discretionary money and pay it off as quickly as possible. Try to keep the total of all your monthly debt obligations below 40% of your gross monthly income. 

  10. Choose to build wealth. Using your money to create a secure financial future, instead of spending it on material possessions, will give you a feeling of freedom that expensive toys never deliver. You can reduce stress by purchasing less stuff that you really don’t need and making a commitment to save and invest at least 10% of your income.


About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.