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November 2018

Financial Stress? Don’t Pay the Price with Poor Health

When your wallet takes a hit, your health may suffer, too. It’s a common problem. In a 2017 survey, 31 out of 50 Americans said they felt stressed out about money. That could be bad news for their bodies.

The high cost of stress

An unplanned expense could send your stress level soaring. Depending on how you react, this may lead to:

  • Upset stomach

  • Headaches

  • Back pain

  • Sleep problems

  • Frequent colds

If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, stress can become routine. Long-lasting stress may contribute to:

  • High blood pressure

  • Heart disease

  • Diabetes

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

Managing financial strain

It may take a while to build up your savings or pay off your credit card. But there are things you can do to reduce your financial stress starting today. And that can pay dividends in better health.

  • Take charge of your financial situation. Track your spending to see where the money goes. Then look for ways to trim your expenses or stretch your money farther. If you’re drowning in debt, ask about setting up a payment plan.

  • Create a written budget and stick to it. At first, this may lead to more anxiety. But in the long run, having a plan can reduce your stress.

  • Focus on one big financial decision at a time. Tackling too much at once can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Space out major purchases.

  • Try not to fall back on unhealthy habits. Some people react to financial woes by smoking, drinking, gambling, or eating junk food. These behaviors only add to the physical toll.

  • Learn healthy ways of keeping stress in check. Relax with deep breathing, meditation, a walk, or a warm bath. Connect with supportive family and friends. These strategies not only work well to ease stress—they’re a lot cheaper than a cigarette habit or bar tab!

 

Need budgeting help?

Here's a handy worksheet from the Federal Trade Commission.

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