Most of us know that a little bit of stress can be motivating, but too much pressure is no fun and can actually be dangerous. Positive stress can keep you alert and even ready to respond in a dangerous situation. Stress becomes negative, however, when there is no relief or relaxation between challenges. In some cases, this anxiety can impact your health and in many instances this stress is tied to financial worries.
Impact of Stress on Health
We've all experienced the physical symptoms related to stress, whether we want to admit it or not. Stress over work, family, and finances can cause sleep issues, headaches, elevated blood pressure, and stomach problems. Researchers are finding some other disturbing consequences of stress as well.
There are several studies related to stress and cancer, indicating that the level of distress can affect cancer tumor growth. One Yale University study showed that stress causes a reduction in gray matter, effectively shrinking your brain. Another study revealed that chronic stress could lead to depression. Finally, stress can wreak havoc with your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds, flu, and even some chronic diseases.
Finances and Your Stress Level
Among some of the biggest causes of stress that people report are work and financial obligations. One survey by the American Psychological Association found that 73% of respondents point to money as the most significant stress in their life. The Federal Reserve reports that more than three out of every four Americans are in debt, with things like housing and fuel costs making the cost of living higher than in the past.
Avoiding Stress With Proper Financial Planning
In some cases, stress over money is due to a lack of income. In others, however, the problem has more to do with overspending and poor financial planning. No one likes feeling stressed all the time and a few simple financial tools might be able to lighten your emotional load. These include:
Track your spending. Use an app, or just pen and paper, to start tracking where your money is going for about a month. You might be surprised at how much you're spending on luxury and trivial items.
Create a budget. Take your new found knowledge and create a budget for your monthly expenses. If you have some problem areas, such as eating out, clothing, or entertainment, set some strict limits on these items.
Trackable spending. Paying with a credit or debit card will make it easier to track your spending. Avoid paying in cash.
Start saving. If you've heard the term "pay yourself first," it's true. You should put money into your savings every time you get paid.
Use tools. There are some great online tools for budgeting and bill paying. Mint.com is just one of them. Find one that meets your needs and take advantage of its features.
Finances and stress seem to go hand in hand. Fortunately, this is one area of your life that you can start to control with proper financial planning. Another way to be financially responsible is to plan for your family's financial future with a life insurance policy. Contact us to learn more or simply request a quote with our simple process now.
Knowledge is power. The more you know, the easier it is to make an intelligent choice. Everyday life, as well as certain events and circumstances, require you to make choices. And peace of mind is gained when you feel good about the decisions you make.
When it comes to life insurance, IntelliQuote is there for you to make the intelligent, well-informed choice. From term life insurance to universal life insurance and final expense insurance, we make it easy for you to compare, shop and save. Get multiple quotes now and make the intelligent decision for Life.