Saying Goodbye to Financial Stress

Financial stress used to be the one thing that held me back from being a happy and in control individual.

Like any type of stress, I was constantly overwhelmed by small everyday things that I would normally brush off.

I couldn’t go grocery shopping without adding up totals as I placed them into my shopping cart. I couldn’t do dinner with my girlfriends for fear that the server would come back at me with a giant sign saying “insufficient funds”.

I suddenly started to experience anxiety, which was never apart of my life before, and felt suffocated and stuck in a career that wasn’t for me.

I was afraid to be a “yes person”, and instead became the one thing in life I never wanted to be: afraid.

Choosing a different path

For me, what changed my life for the better was essentially starting over. I went back to school, I moved to a new town, and I took control over the only things that I knew I could.

Being in debt was one of the hardest and most real experiences I had ever faced, because I chose to take it on alone.

I internalized all my worries and doubts, and I pretended there was nothing to be stressed about.

Which only made matters worse.

I continued down the path of paycheck to paycheck, putting things I could not afford onto my credit cards, and shopping like I had money to spend.

Then my boyfriend of the time proposed. And my first thought was, “how am I going to afford a wedding?”.

Playing student for the rest of my life wasn’t going to get me where I needed or wanted to be. It was only going to delay my goals, and put further stress onto a maxed-out lifestyle.

Finding home both mentally and physically

Once I realized that I needed a job if I were ever going to be ready to jump back on the horse, I started applying.

That’s when I found a career that completely changed my outlook on money and kicked my journey to debt freedom into high gear. In the financial industry.

People laughed and joked when I told them because they knew how bad I was with my money. Little did they know how bad it really was.

After starting the job and thinking to myself: “I need to be doing what we preach in this office”. I started researching, asking, and opening up to others about topics that used to terrify me to no end.

I wrote down every dollar I owed, mapped out a realistic timeline, and dove in head first without even questioning whether I could do it or not.

Financial stress doesn’t go away in a snap

It’s obvious that debt isn’t something that can be solved overnight. Me writing down my numbers and setting up a date of freedom didn’t help me get to that time of year any sooner.

I had to spend almost an entire year dealing with that financial burden and overwhelming feeling hanging over my head.

To which the saying goes: it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Paying off debt and living with stress come as a package deal. When I decided it was time, what I didn’t know was that I was deciding to put myself into an uncomfortable situation every single month.

I was living with no extra dollars to spare, no freedom to change my living situation, and no clue if an emergency was going to strike and sabotage my entire plan. Those anxieties don’t sit too well either.

However, I can say now that it was worth it. Putting over $1000 a month towards my debt was the only thing that helped me both amplify and disintegrate my financial stress in one solid swoop. Is it for everyone? No way. But is living in debt without any idea how to manage that stress? No. Way.

If you’re currently reading this, feeling any type of financial stress (even if you are in control), just remember that it’s only temporary and you are not alone.

You will come out on the other side with everything you deserve, need, and require to live a positive and productive life.

Now, let’s do something fun.

7 Responses to “Saying Goodbye to Financial Stress

  • I thought I had money stress when I was working 2 jobs, 60+ hours a week, and barely getting by. But that was nothing compared to the stress I felt when I found out I wasn’t being rehired at a job I liked after my contract ended.
    I can still remember laying awake at night, staring at the ceiling, wondering how the hell I was going to pay my bills and afford to eat. My boyfriend and I had just gotten engaged, and moved into a townhouse where the rent was more than double what I had paid before. I should have been over the moon giddy thinking about our wedding and our future together, but I just couldn’t. I was a mess, and no fun to be around, I’m sure.
    Even though it has taken years (and still counting!) to recover financially from that set back, it at the very least helped me learn how to manage my financial stress. I still have a long way to go, but I’m finally on the other side of it!

    • Wowza, I got stressed out just reading that! I can completely relate to the no-sleep and anxiety ridden moments that you mention. So happy to hear you are moving forward. It’s definitely not a quick recovery, but it’s so worthwhile once you reach the other side! Proud of you.

  • Do something about it now! Don’t just sit on one corner and blabber about your woes. Crying over it and doing nothing will just add more worries on your part. ACT and RESOLVE, enjoy financial freedom!

  • Financial stress is so overwhelming as it puts its nasty hands on every aspect of your life. I’m so glad you turned it around. Hopefully I can join you.

  • This is so true. Now that our consumer debt is paid in full, I’m very motivated to start saving and paying off student loans so that an emergency doesn’t put us back in the whole. The limits that debtbplaces on life choices is what was hard for me. You mention a proposal, for me it was “Could we even afford it if we wanted to have a baby?!!”

    • I totally feel you! And I do think it comes down to a big life goal or financial goal to realize “wow, without debt it would actually be achievable”.

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