Kelley Olinger is a Coach, Consultant, and Founder of Reconcile Your Wallet (www.reconcileyourwallet.com), where she assists high-achievers to align their personal finances with their goals and aspirations. Kelley worked in Residential Real Estate with a focus on pre-construction development for over a decade in Victoria, British Columbia and recently completed her MBA. In this article, she discusses what financial stress is and how to overcome it.
Why do you feel the financial topic is important to add to a website that talks about health and wellness?
Finances contribute so much to stress. Financial stress robs you from the positive energy required to be out doing active things because you are feeling so down and out. People get sick more often with this kind of stress because stress in itself is toxic. Having financial stress looming over your head creates very negative energy and a feeling of a constant worry. You can become depressed, or even get sick more often. Financial stress strips your energy and instead of enjoying fun activities, you’re essentially walking with a cloud of worry above your head, day in day out!
Consider this as the perfect triad – health, family, and finances. These are our biggest stresses. If you have poor health, it’s going to affect and stress your family, and obviously your wallet. If you have financial issues, it will likely stress your family. You might not be able to afford good healthcare, good food, quality products or medication.
People may struggle to participate in activities to stay fit or healthy, simply due to the costs involved. Obviously, there are some activities that you can do that don’t cost much money, but for someone who just had a hip replacement, part of their rehabilitation process may require getting a gym or a pool membership to do regular exercise. Most rehabiltation programs and memberships cost money. Therefore, how do we get physically well again if we can’t afford it?
How to deal with financial stress?
A lot of people get themselves too deep into financial debt, and they feel embarrassed and stuck when everything feels out of their control. The tendency is also to keep these matters a secret, so often we don’t reach out for the help and resources needed to get everything under control. Sometimes we are also not ready to admit that we need to make some lifestyle changes. We must remember that until we get it off our shoulders and tell someone, nothing will change. Like most things, if we don’t admit we have a problem, we can't start fixing it.
Some of the ways to finally work on addressing your financial stress is to write out all of your expenses, go through them and work on your cutbacks. Start researching everything to do with personal finance; for example, learning how to budget, how to cut back and earn more. Discover where your money was spent and finally ask yourself, “What do you want your money to do for you once all of the debt is paid?”
What are the expectations with the content that we’ve put on in the coming months?
We will cover tips on how to create a budget. A lot of people freak out when they hear the word budget because they feel that it is very restrictive and won't allow you to do anything. Learning how to budget will give you a sense of control and can also eliminate the guilt from spending. We will also discuss different types of credit cards. Many people don’t know that there are different types of credit cards, and if you use them wisely, you will realize that some cards are more beneficial in terms of rewards offer or the perks associated with them. An example would be travel credit cards, where if you’re renting a car, you have the privilege to waive the additional insurance fees. Lastly, we will also discuss how to tackle debt and plan for unexpected expenses.