When Rachel McDonough, offered to write a guest post on money stress, I jumped right on it! Money is one of the top stressors we face and leads to relationship issues, work stress and health problems. We all need a little help with money no matter how financially secure or insecure we are. And if you are a business owner, money matters become an even bigger part of your world.
Rachel combines her insight from years living among some of the world’s poorest people in Kenya, with her professional experience as a Certified Financial Planner™ to offer a unique and refreshing perspective on money. She believes that the best way she can help her clients and readers be truly successful is by helping them make financial decisions that reflect their personal values.
Rachel’s new book is True Treasure: Giving, Saving & Spending According to Your Calling. It is such a beautifully written book that isn’t just your typical book on managing your finances or setting a budget for your household. She ties your financial goals to your personal and professional passions which makes this book so much more meaningful and applicable to real life.
Below is Rachel’s article on money stress. Enjoy and share your comments below. THANKS!
BEATING MONEY STRESS
By Guest Blogger: Rachel McDonough, CFP®
Money and stress—they go together like peas and carrots for many of us. But they don’t have to. Stress experienced in financial decision making is usually caused by 2 culprits: fear and lack of clarity.
1. Fear (often in a moment of crisis)
Feeling insecure and anxious about the future can happen to anyone, especially when wading through a crisis. If you are in the middle of a job loss, health issue, death in the family or if you have not saved as well as you hoped, you may be scrambling financially without a simple financial solution. You may be faced with difficult choices about your lifestyle and under enormous pressure to change and change fast.
If this is you, remember to let the people who love you help you. Give yourself permission to need help and explore all of your options, not just your favorite possibility (like winning the lottery).
Also remember that you are not alone. Most people will deal with several moments of crisis and financial fears over their lifetimes. Let your support network support you, learn from other people’s experiences, and anchor yourself in deep, unchanging, spiritual truth so you can stay grounded as you sort through your options.
Above all, focus on what you can do (right now) to improve your financial situation…not on the impossibilities you seem to be facing. Take courage and look your challenges square in the eye, size them up, and create a plan of action to overcome them.
2. Lack of Clarity
Another major cause of financial stress is caused by a lack of clarity (or lack of conviction) in the financial decision-making process. This type of stress feels less like a panic attack and more like a continual unsettled nagging. It’s that lack of peace or the recurring thought in the back of your mind, “Am I doing a good job managing my money?”
This one does have a simple solution (although simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy). Becoming intentional and purposeful about using your money can put that nagging feeling to rest. When we use our money in a way that lines up with our beliefs, values and priorities, we feel more confident and empowered. As we come to fully understand who we are (identity) and what we’re here for (purpose / calling), we can strategically use our resources (money, as well as time and talent) to live out a fulfilling and meaningful life.
The bottom line is that you can’t make powerful, purposeful financial decisions when you are stressed. Psychologists tell us that the rational, logical part of our brains actually shuts down when our negative emotions are high. Proactively working through your financial decisions from a values-based perspective will help set you up for success in your balance sheet as well as in your quality of life.
Any opinions are those of Rachel McDonough and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice.