4 Tips for Staying Positive About Your Finances

by Miranda Marquit · 7 comments

When the economy is down, or when you are struggling a bit with your finances, it can be tempting to let that negativity permeate your life — and it can result in even worse finances. Often, a downward spiral affects a number of areas of your life, and that can spill over and make your finances even worse. While you don’t want to ignore financial difficulties, you don’t want to succumb to them, either. So, here are 4 tips for staying positive about your finances:

1. Count Your Blessings

The first thing to do is recognize the good things. Gratitude can be one of the best ways to improve your positivity and increase the chance of achieving the desired outcome. Additionally, focusing on what’s good in your life can help you reduce the stress associated with your finances. You can look to your family, your friends, your health, a treasured keepsake or other items that you are grateful for, and enjoy those positive feelings.

2. Create an Action Plan

Most of us feel better when we have a purpose. Create an action plan to help you get out of your financial doldrums. This can include creating a plan for cutting your spending, or a plan for earning more money (or you can do both). There is a feeling of helplessness that can overwhelm you, and paralyze you. Head that feeling off by doing something. Create your plan, and then get to work. Focusing on fixing the problem can help you feel less anxiety about it.

3. Remind Yourself that Nothing Lasts Forever

For awhile, I was sometimes discouraged about our finances when my husband and I were both students. I had to keep reminding myself that it wouldn’t last forever. Indeed, it is a good idea to keep life in perspective. Just as the good times can’t stretch into eternity, the tough times won’t last forever. Consider this time as a short period, and realize that eventually you will come out of it. You’ll come out of it faster if you have an action plan to help.

4. Recognize the Lessons You Can Learn

Every financial setback comes with a lesson you can learn. In some cases, the lesson learned is that you need to get back to financial basics. Look for the lesson in your current situation. It might be that you need to cultivate income diversity so that you aren’t in as much trouble when your primary source of income is cut off. Perhaps the lesson is the importance of an emergency fund. When I first started out as a freelancer, I had one client disappear without paying me for $2,000 worth of work. At the time, we really needed that money – we were counting on it. I learned that, for larger projects, I needed to get at least half up front, and I needed to make sure that I stopped doing work without regular payment, hoping that eventually the client would come through. It was pretty crappy at the time, but, looking back, I can see the lesson in the experience.

Staying positive can be tough, but if you make the effort, you might find that you feel less financial stress, and that you are more open to opportunities when they present themselves.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • I think #2 is really important. Just that step alone has reduced my financial stress. Knowing I’m being proactive instead of getting walked all over by my finances is helping a great deal.

  • Forgiving yourself for past transgressions is important too. You should always learn from mistakes, but don’t beat yourself up about them… what ‘s done is done, you can only move forward.

  • I definitely agree with the action plan. It helps you identify problem areas to work on as well as provide some support and encouragement in areas where you are already successful.

  • You’ve got some good patience Max. That is a long time to wait. I think all we need to do is understand that we live in one of the best countries in the world and the fact that you have running water, plumbing and a roof over your head is something to be happy about.

  • Max says:

    “When I first started out as a freelancer, I had one client disappear without paying me for $2,000 worth of work.” That same problem happened to me about a month ago. I went two months until that client paid me the money owed. I did eventually get it, but I went a few months struggling financially. From now on I make him pay everything upfront and it has changed how I do my business with a few other clients.

  • It’s definitely difficult but an action plan keeps things optimistic. It’s also hard to be patient, as you don’t want to be in the situation forever.

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