Every few months or so, I’ll wake up in a panic around 4:30 in the morning feeling stressed about money.
When you’re lying there in the dark, it’s easy for the mind to start running wild.
I’m sure you’ve experienced this too. One thought leads to another, and another, until you’re in a downward spiral of negative and stressful thoughts.
Or perhaps it happens in the middle of the day, sitting at work, where you’re tied to your desk and feel like there’s no escape.
The stress could be triggered by your job, family issues, health issues, relationships, but more often than not for most people, it’s money.
I’ve found that it doesn’t matter how much I make, I still have a tendency to stress out about money from time to time.
And if you’re looking to build a lifestyle business or are a solopreneur, these money concerns can be build up quickly – even when you’re in great shape financially!
I still remember the first few months after leaving my job. I had nothing coming in, and I wasn’t exactly living large with the modest savings I had.
Those early morning wake up calls were a regular occurrence, and I had to learn how to temper them.
The bottom line is, money is one of the most critical factors when it comes to starting your own business. You need to learn to have a good relationship with money, regardless of how much or little you have.
In this post, I’m going to share 10 things you can do to help you stop being stressed about money all the time.
1) Sign up for Personal Capital
One of the most stressful parts of finances is that most people have no clue what kind of shape they are in financially.
It’s not knowing that can often cause the most stress.
Personally, I’ve found Personal Capital to be one of the best budgeting and financial planning tools out there. I’ve also used Mint.com for years, which can be a good alternative, but with either of them, you need to actually pay attention when you set it up.
By having the information, and being able to visually see your budget, you can make changes to your spending and saving that can ease your stress.
Action Item: Sign up for the free budgeting software Personal Capital, and then pick one day every month to review and adjust your budget as necessary.
2) Review recurring expenses
I know people that over the course of an hour have saved $6,000 a year by reviewing their recurring expenses.
This is going to be especially applicable if you have a small business, and you signed up for different services to help get things off the ground.
I’m willing to bet some of those things that made sense at one point, may not be serving you anymore.
For me personally, I had a $97/month membership site that I don’t use and just canceled. I also have a storage unit for $67/month that is all stuff from college that I haven’t looked at it in two years.
I can easily save $2k a year just canceling those two things
Action Item: Review recurring expenses, and cancel all but the most crucial.
3) Go for a run
When I’m stressed about money (or anything really) it’s usually because I’m too in my head about it, and just can’t stop thinking.
I’ve found getting up and going for a run to be one of the best things to immediately help alleviate that stress. It works on both a physical and emotional level.
The endorphins it releases will help you to feel better on a physical level, and the change of scenery and doing something positive for yourself will help emotionally.
And this doesn’t even mention the fact that often my best ideas come while I’m running. So if you’re looking for solutions to that stress, running could be a great way to get them.
Action Item: Put your running clothes, shoes, and headphones in a very easily accessible place. Then when you need to relieve the stress, it’s right there waiting for you and you won’t have to then stress about finding it.
4) Break down why you’re actually stressed
Something I figured out awhile ago is that we’re all only actually afraid of one thing:
You might think you’re afraid of not being able to pay the bills, or fearing what will happen if you lose your job…
But the reality, is you’re afraid of the uncertainty relating to those things.
When you reframe your mindset to realize that you’re actually only afraid of one thing, rather than potentially dozens, it’s easier to address that concern.
Start with this simple exercise:
- Answer the question: Why are you stressed about money?
- Take your responses, and then ask why one more time to each. So if you said, “because I’m afraid I won’t be able to make rent.” Ask “why am I afraid I won’t be able to make rent?”
- Follow that path until you get to the root of your issue.
Action Item: We created an entire course on overcoming uncertainty . If you have a lot of fear and stress in your life, this could be something valuable for you, so check it out.
5) Brainstorm Ways to Make $1,000
When I get stressed about money, one of the best things I can do is think about all of the different ways I could make money.
Usually, I end up with a long list of potential options, that all of a sudden allow me to breathe a sigh of relief and say “oh, worst case, I could do any number of these things.”
Sure some might not be the most fun or exciting, but they can help add a few bucks to your bank account if times are feeling tight.
Action Item: Read these posts about ways to make some extra money:
- How to Make an Extra $1,000 in a Month – This was one of the first blog posts I ever wrote on the site (so forgive the bad formatting!). But almost all of it still holds true today.
- How to Make $3,000 in 60 Days with SEO Writing – This is one of my most popular posts and forms the basis for the most popular path people take in Location Rebel Academy.
- How to Launch Your First Kindle Book and Make $1,000 – Self-publishing has become so accessible, and even moderately capable writers with a bit of specific knowledge can make money on Amazon.
6) Start a Side Business
This piggybacks off the last one, but if stress over money is a recurring theme in your life, then potentially starting a more serious side business can be a great way to ease the pain.
Not only that, you’ll be building a brand, an asset, and growing your connections in the process – so there’s a lot more value there than just making some extra cash.
It also could take less time than you think.
When people join Location Rebel Academy, I usually tell them to plan to spend at least 10 hours a week on their new business. That gives you enough time to build up some momentum.
Action Item: Check out these posts on different businesses you can start.
- 10 Things You Can Do Today to Start a Lifestyle Business
- 10 Businesses You Can Run from Anywhere on Earth
Note: We’ve also just released “The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Lifestyle Entrepreneurship.” This is for people that think they want to start something but have no clue where to begin. We tell you everything you need to know so that you know exactly how and where to begin.
7) Make a list of activities that don’t cost anything
We’re on the tail-end of summer, and if you’re anything like me, your spending has probably gone up over the last few months. Weekend trips away with friends, rooftop happy hour cocktails, eating out – we tend to do all of those things more when the weather is nice.
I’ve been going through and listing all of the things I’ve been wanting to do that don’t cost anything. Just by focusing on these you can not only mix up your social routine but save some money as well.
Action Item: Make a list of things you can do that are free or low cost. Examples might include:
- Parks, hikes, or other things outdoors
- Books you want to read (that you can get at the library). Here are some recommendations.
- Community events
- Projects you can do around your home
- Games you want to play
8) Change Your Environment
This one is pretty simple. You know what almost immediately causes me to stop stressing out when it’s 4:30am and my mind won’t stop racing?
Getting out of bed.
Almost immediately I stop worrying, and if I then go to work on my business, I feel even less stressed.
Getting out of bed, going to a coffee shop, going to a different room in your house, going outside – these are all ways you can change your environment, which in turn can help you change your mindset and get out of your head.
Action Item: Figure out what your happy place is. Where do you feel the most content and less stressed? Is it the gym? Some place in your home? A park? Know where that is, and go there when your mind is on overload.
9) Talk Through It
Often, we’re afraid to talk about things like this – even with our loved ones or significant others.
We sometimes get the feeling that you need to be able to handle everything on our own, that we should be farther along than we are.
But the more you bottle up those feelings and stay in your own head, the worse things are going to get.
Talking through why you’re stressed about money will do two big things:
- It will most likely help you realize that things probably aren’t as bad as you think they are
- It will help you come up with alternate ways of looking at the problem, that you may not have considered.
I often find the times that I end up the most stressed about money are the times I’m being lazy. I fall into a routine, and more specifically, I’m not being proactive about growing my business and trying to improve my knowledge.
When I find myself in this mindset I start reading more.
Almost immediately I begin getting more ideas, get more excited about implementing the ideas I’m learning, and in turn feel less stressed in the process.
Action Item: Go get two books. Get one self-help book that might fall into the categories of business, personal development, personal finance or productivity.
Then get another fiction book in a genre you really enjoy.
The purpose of the non-fiction book is to help you with ideas you can implement to alleviate your stress.
The purpose of the fiction book is to serve as an escape and simply take your mind off of the stress you’re feeling.
How to Feel Less Stressed About Money
Remember, it’s not just you.
I don’t think I know a single person who doesn’t stress out about money from time to time – regardless of how much or how little you have.
So don’t feel ashamed or frustrated, but be proactive and take steps to actually help alleviate the stress both in the short term and the long term.
Hopefully, if you’re someone who is stressed about money these strategies will help you with both of those things.
And if you’re really ready to tackle some of your issues, and perhaps make some significant changes in the direction your life is taking, check out Overcoming the Fear of Uncertainty to not only tackle your stress related to money, but also stress towards your job, relationships, and more.