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A lot of people are quite financially stressed right now. It’s understandable – it’s been a hard few years for most of us, and the uphill climb back to a bustling economy, both locally and globally, is far from over yet.

Does that mean that we have to be stressed with where SA has been in the past five years? Not necessarily.

You can reduce financial stress with the following tips.

Step 1: Communicate

One of the biggest stressors that comes from money is the negative impact it can have on our relationships. Some of us have been shown by generations before us to suffer in silence and not share the money worries with those close to us.

The effects of that have a deep impact.

Here’s the thing – our partner, kids, parents, friends will always know. We are usually not even aware of the tense face we pull when our child picks the most expensive toy in the shop, or the frosty reception we give when our partner speaks about anything with an expense. The problem is that it’s not easy for them to be sure of whether it’s them or money that we’re frustrated with.

Having an honest, vulnerable conversation with loved ones about finances can be healthy for both family bonds and your bank balance. You might be surprised at how willing your other half supports forgoing certain expenses in order to keep your budget robust. Remember, if you’re anxious about your finances, the people around you probably are too.

Step 2: Get advice

When money is already tight, it may seem unthinkable to get a financial adviser involved. It is important to realize that it means you could end up spending a little more to get access to wealth creation strategies, ideas and investment opportunities that you were completely unaware of and could significantly improve your emotional, mental and financial position.

Going to a financial adviser has the same effect on your spending as keeping a food journal for your diet. With an adviser, you can increase your mindfulness to eliminate waste and focus your expenditure into what really matters to you.

Step 3: Be honest

We need to be upfront and honest in financial planning meetings and conversations. Speak up when it’s hard and you don’t feel ready to make changes. It’s important to talk about what we can no longer afford and what we’d like to achieve. Any change that happens before we are ready for it is often not sustainable.

It is these kinds of conversations that bring value to our financial journey and makes financial advice come alive. We can respond with enthusiasm, find new ideas and forger stronger relationships.

Step 4: Use this time to fine-tune and keep honing

Instead of seeing a financially stressful time as a never-ending pit, rather see it as an opportunity for new growth. Economic downturns, bearish economies, recession and all forms of headwinds always come to an end.

What they provide is the opportunity to get our mindset and wealth creation strategy into a lean, mean machine that will skyrocket when conditions improve!

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