If you often think that there isn’t enough money and feel anxious about how long it will last, you’re not alone. These concerns occur to most people, regardless of their wealth. Some people feel regret about how much they spend when they see their credit card bill. Others feel anxious every time they buy something. They wonder if they are splurging or living above their means. Fortunately, there are many practical steps you can take to stop fretting about money. You don’t have to be a spendthrift or a miser. There is a third option: you can develop a balanced view of money.
1. Create a lovely home and living space you love
Your home affects your mood; and your mood, in turn, affects your prosperity and opportunity. It’s hard to feel financially secure if you live a space that you loathe. Do you what you can to create a space you love. If you own your own home, you should make it as pleasant as possible. Of course, you don’t have to go overboard and buy things that you can’t afford to make it more attractive. But you don’t want to be too frugal either– because it will only depress you. Start small, declutter and make strides to create a space that you love.
If you rent, then you may not have much choice about how to fix up the place. If you’re renting an apartment or home stuffed with old furniture and not enough space, then a simple solution would be to move to an apartment complex in your city with nice furniture. Some fully furnished apartments in Dallas, for example, have modern décor with plenty of space and amenities.
2. Create a budget
Regardless of how much or how little you learn, you need a budget. Everyone, rich or poor, has to learn the fine art of how to stretch a dollar. Without a budget, you’ll only have a vague idea of how much money is flowing in or out of your life. At the start of the month, sit down with your partner or family members and figure out your budget for that month. You need to do this every month because every month will be slightly different. Since your life is dynamic and always changing, it is unrealistic to create a static budget. Budgeting is an ongoing process, rather than something that you do once. While there are many ways to organize a budget, ranging from pen and paper to budgeting software, here are a few fundamental rules:
- List all your income sources and all your expenditures.
- If your bills exceed your income, then figure out where your money is going and trim your budget, if needed.
- If trimming your budget doesn’t work and you’re using credit cards to spend more than you earn, research different ways to increase your income.
- Make a schedule when you should update your budget. Choose a certain day at a certain time each week to keep your budget on track.
- At the end of the month, review your budget to review any changes you need to make for the coming month.
3. Make friends with your money
Did you realize you have a long-term relationship with money? Some people obsess over money, and they stay up at night trying to figure out how to earn more. Others treat money as a necessary evil, and they try to deal with it as little as possible. Both of these attitudes are counterproductive. The best attitude to have is to have a balanced and harmonious relationship with money. You don’t have to love or hate money—instead, it’s wiser to treat it as a useful tool, an energy exchange, to help you meet your needs. Neither adulation nor resentment is a good way to build any kind of relationship.