Financial stress is a common burden for many young families.
Growing a family is no small feat and finances have a lot to do with it. Children come with their own unique set of needs and financial obligations and the more children you have, the more of a financial burden it can be.
Choosing one parent to stay at home with the kids can also create a stressful scenario as the family moves down to one income. All of this added stress caused by finances can have a big impact on a person’s physical and mental health.
So what do you do when your finances are stressing you out?
Obviously, the first step is to figure out what your financial situation is. If you want to reduce the amount of stress you’re under, you need to make sure that you’re living within your means. This normally requires making a list of all of your income sources and then another list of your mandatory payments and purchases and figuring out what’s left over.
You should review your budget at least every few months, and definitely when there is any kind of big change. A new baby, moving, purchasing a mini van or even a family vacation can all have an impact on the budget.
Knowing exactly how much you have to spend each month can give you a sense of control and direction, which will help to reduce stress.
Family priorities are different from those of a young bachelor or single woman. If you haven’t already discussed and ranked your family’s priorities, then now is the time to do that. Spend your money on the things that are most important first, and leave the things you could do without until last, and only if there is anything left over afterwards.
This can be a tough decision but it all comes down to what is most important to your family. Life insurance, for example, can be a huge priority for some, and not nearly nearly as important to others. If this is the case for you, then you could consider selling your life insurance policy for cash.
While it may be hard to decide, knowing that every cent is going towards something important can make you feel confident in your financial situation.
Finding balance can be like searching for the Holy Grail for many young families. Balancing a budget is just as hard as trying to balance time between work and family. But when things are out of balance, it can leave us feeling frazzled, lost and stressed out.
In order to achieve the right balance, you may have to cut some things out of your life, like subscriptions, memberships or dining out. Or look into options for earning more money, such as babysitting, selling something you own or starting a blog.
If the budget doesn’t balance, then it can cause a great deal of debt. And the only way to truly reduce the amount of stress caused by your finances, is to make sure that you are only spending what you have.