Understanding Financial Stress

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To put it simply, this stress is brought about by the fear of not able to meet financial obligation.

financial stress, money, debt, emergency fund, savings

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As human beings stress itself is not bad. It creates tension that may become the driving force for one to achieve something greater. Stress tests one’s limits. It becomes a tool to condition oneself to be prepared for other things. Financial stress is like the same though at times it drives a person to the point where one might commit unthinkable things. The worst form of this is when one is so desperate to get hold of cash in order to settle a debt. One example is the reported incident in a well-known casino where a person was consumed to do all means to get  money due to his debt.

Yes this stress is not good for your health if it reaches that level where one is desperate enough to go as to injure others. But as the philosopher who made a controversial FB post about positivity said, hiding such negative issue is not at all a good idea. We need to face this stress and learn from it rather than putting up a smiling face and tell yourself that tomorrow all of it will be gone. Unless you face it and deal with it, financial stress wont go away.

Fear is the driving factor why one goes to financial stress. I remember my very own personal experience of financial stress. I was out of work and was back to my mother’s house. it has been a month and I was telling myself that they would call me soon enough for the jobs I applied for. But a month turned into 2 or 3 months and that is the time that financial stress creeps in. At the back of my mind thoughts started roaming. Thoughts of what other people are thinking of me not working and bumming in my mother’s house; thoughts of my savings now getting eaten away and dwindling every week; thoughts of what will people who look up to me as successful say when they knew I was out of work; and that I am a failure. Losing money as well is source of financial stress. Back then I started paying up a condo unit that I thought was a good investment. I was working abroad and have no complete idea what has already happen the unit. It came to the point that I wanted to sell it now but there was an issue with the developer. After long months of arguing with them I was handed over a statement where the amount that they will returned to me from my original payments is less than 50% due to the hefty interest and charges they deducted.That really was not a very good experience and hope to not have that experience again.

Once financial stress lays upon you, your world view changes. You start to panic and have that scarcity thinking. When that comes you become too tight that you tend to miss opportunities. Also your health both physical and mental health are affected. I became insomniac and have no control of eating sweet foods. You start to have that negative thinking. You may even be paranoid at the most simple things out of fear of losing everything. For a father who lost his job this stress is nerve-racking. He is always the breadwinner and the thought of not able to bring food to the table will surely make you awake for the rest of the night. Imagine also the mental toll on you when you don’t know where to get the next payment for your mortgage on your house. Losing the house will keep on playing on your mind and will surely drive you crazy.

The only solution to this is simple being prepared. Again financial freedom does not necessarily mean you have lots of money. Financial freedom only means that you are not financially stress because you know where to get money to address your current and succeeding needs. The best way to be prepared is to have your emergency fund.Setting up this fund should be the top priority. It is always calming to think that though you may have no job today, you are assured of financial means since you know you have set aside enough funds to get you through this situation.

So again I say, before investing or splurging make sure you have enough emergency fund to keep your mind from worrying about where will you get money to buy your next meal.

About the blogger

Louis Delos Angeles is a Certified Public Accountant, blogger behind Investing in Philippines, and author of Investing in Stocks: Preparing for the future small amount at a time. Check him out in Google+ Learn more about Louis and his financial freedom advocacy here.

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