How to manage financial stress

by Badgley Phelps | Jan 14, 2019

The volatility in the market and watching your account values fluctuate can be stress inducing. Here are five tips to turn your negative reaction into positive action.

Tip 1: Maintain liquidity

A general rule of thumb is to have at least six months to a year of living expenses invested in liquid assets that are accessible for use during life’s unexpected surprises. In turbulent financial times, it could make you feel better to increase your liquidity so there’s a softer landing should you need it.

Tip 2: Consider putting off large purchases

Large purchases, such as buying a second home, can be stressful regardless of what the market is doing. But if financial pressures are already adding worry to your life, you may want to postpone any large purchases until a time when you’re feeling more confident.

Tip 3: Look for ways to cut expenses

If you expect to be in a lower tax bracket in 2020, you may want to explore how you could defer income from this year to next. One way to defer income that’s more in your control is to defer the sale of a property or business to have it close in the lower tax year.

Other ways to cut expenses are sticking to a monthly budget; looking for ways to reduce your current living expenses, such as switching your cell phone to a less expensive provider or buying prescription medications online; having your insurance reviewed by an independent insurance broker to see if you could be paying less; installing LED lightbulbs; and upgrading your thermostat. It may not seem like much, but these little things do add up.

Tip 4: Meet with your trusted adviser

Talking with a fiduciary you trust about your financial stress can go a long way to easing your mind. Meet with your financial adviser and revisit your current and long-term financial goals, the ways you’re pursuing those goals and your current investment allocation. It can also be helpful to review an annual financial checklist and tick off some uncomplicated tasks that can help you feel more under control, financially.
Click to download our checklist >

Tip 5: Spend time doing the things that are important to you

Perhaps the best way to de-stress is to spend time doing the things you enjoy—with the people you love. Or, take up a new hobby you’ve always wanted to try, particularly if it involves exercise. Exercise is one of the best ways to combat stress. Another? Laughter. Book time with your funniest friend and reap the immediate, uplifting benefits.



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