Dealing With Financial Stress (Part 1)

by Doc Orman, M.D.


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Dealing with financial stressThis week, I’m going to focus on a problem that is very topical and of great concern to many people today.  This problem—or more accurately collection of related problems—is commonly referred to as “financial stress.”  

With our economy in such poor shape, many people have found themselves facing financial hardship, some for the very first time in their lives. Millions of people are out of work and are finding it difficult to land a new job. Many once thriving businesses, large and small, have closed. Others have seen reduced revenues and have had to lay off workers and delay new projects.

For individuals and families who have been struggling financially, gas prices and food prices have risen, many have lost their homes to foreclosures, new loans are hard to get, interest income from savings has been reduced, pensions have either vanished or been reduced, etc.

It’s Not A Pretty Picture

All in all, from a purely financial standpoint, it’s been a pretty sad picture for the past few years.  And the prospects for a rapid turnaround of our economy are not very good.

Thus, many of us today are suffering from financial stress of one sort or another. Either we are having serious financial problems right now, or we may be worried  that financial difficulties are lurking right around the corner.

So, what’s a person to do if they are suffering from financial stress today?  Well, that’s the topic I want to discuss with you this week, and I’m going to briefly touch on three different aspects of dealing with financial stress, in my three blog posts this week.

Apply The Same Coping Method

As with any specific type of “stress” in your life, there is an Ultimate Method for dealing with all of them.  This simple, but very powerful, three-step coping method can be summed up as follows:

  1. Define your problems as specifically and accurately as you can.
  2. Identify the main underlying causes (both obvious and non-obvious, both external and internal).
  3. Deal with underlying causes effectively, until your problem either lessens or goes away entirely!

So how would we apply Step 1 of this method to whatever “financial stress” we might be having?

Identify All The Specific Financial Problems You Are Having

Never let yourself be satisfied with defining your problem as “financial stress.” This is much too vague, as it is merely a general term.  Instead, you should force yourself to get much more specific about the exact financial issues you are having.  For example:

  • Is your problem that you’ve lost your job and have not found a way yet to replace your income?
  • Is it that you lost your job and can’t find another one in your preferred field or interest?
  • Are you spending more money than you should be?
  • Are you wasting more money than you should be?
  • Have you made a series of bad investments that are draining money from you now?
  • Do you need to increase the amount of money coming in to your family?
  • Do you need to cut expenses?
  • Do you need to find ways to boost your business revenues?
  • Do you need to find ways to make your marketing efforts more successful?
  • Are you trying to solve your financial problems on your own?
  • Do you have a negative mindset about money?
  • Do you think making money is evil?
  • Have you underestimated your ability to earn money by adding value to a particular marketplace?

These are just a few of the questions you should begin to explore.  Depending upon your unique situation, you will probably find a number of specific problems that are contributing to your “financial stress.”

Next: Get Busy

Once you’ve identified a detailed list of specific, targeted problems—provided you’ve defined them all well and haven’t missed any important ones—your next step is to get busy identifying all of the likely causes for each problem.  The external causes of each will be easy for you to see:  bad economy, incompetent politicians, lack of financial support from others, stupid people, etc.

But you’ll probably have to work a little harder to identify the internal (i.e. hidden causes) for each specific problem on your list.  Sometime, when you turn your attention to rooting out these hidden, internal causes, you’ll be able to easily recognize some of them on your own.  But you may need to get help or coaching from others, if you’re going to uncover them all.

One Internal Cause You Should Always Consider

In my next post in this series, I’m going to alert you to one of the biggest internal cause of financial stress that many people fail to recognize.  And because they don’t recognize this one hidden cause, deep within them, most of their efforts to deal with their financial difficulties are likely to fail.

So please don’t miss this next important post.

Enter Your Name And Email Below To Get Instant Access To This Content-Packed, Eye-Opening, 24-page Report

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

igor Griffiths July 22, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Well Hello Doc

Great post and great list that identifies many of the causes of financial stress. When we try to escape our real issues we create further problems by spending money we do not have to make ourselves feel happy in the short term.

Focus on the long term and ensure the short term pain is really as short as possible

igor

Reply

Doc Orman, M.D. July 22, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Igor. Thanks for your comment. Do you have any additional causes of financial stress to add to this list? Doc

Reply

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