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If you are stressed over personal finance issues and losing sleep over money problems you are not alone.  According to a survey from Bankrate 48% of U.S. adults report having trouble occasionally falling asleep due to worrying about a money issue. (Arnold, 2020)

That same survey was narrowed down to 23% of the participants stated that the ability to pay every day bills was the top of the list, while 32% revealed that money issued weighed heavily on their minds. (Arnold, 2020)

This is a terrible burden to carry everyday and makes getting to sleep at night even harder.   Lack of sleep can lead to serious and chronic health issues that you don’t need when you are already stressed about money. (Colten & Altevogt, 2018)

The last thing you need is to run up doctor bills because of health issues caused from poor quality or lack of sleep.

Root Cause:

There are only two ways to address money issues and you will know which applies best to you.  I have found that in the majority of cases a combination of these two will do wonders to address personal finance issues.

The main issue that affects most people is their spending habits.  Peter Drucker said “What gets measured gets managed”.  (Prusak, 2010)   Simply stated if you don’t track what you are spending, then you are not managing your finances.

This leads us to the nasty four letter word budget, yes I know that is actually six letters, but to most it feels like a swear word.

The other issue can be income or lack of in some cases.  This can be addressed more easily than most are willing to do and we will talk about his in depth in the take action section below.

The Budget Process:

Well you are still here reading so you are committed to at least listening to what changes are necessary to start repairing your losing sleep over money issues and getting that good night sleep you deserve.

Once your budget is laid out and you have a written plan you will feel less stressed at night and be able to start sleeping better.

I have to state now that if you are looking for a magic pill or a get rich quick scheme to fix your problems then you can stop reading now.

The answer to your problem lies in establishing a good budget and having the discipline to follow the plan.

This is a very teachable skill and I have help hundreds of people over the years create budgets and showed them behavioral hacks to help them achieve their goals.

Budget Step 1:

You want to sleep great at night then let’s roll up our sleeves and address your losing sleep over money issues now.

First step that you want to do is to gather data on your spending habits, current bills, and income (take home pay).

Now herein lays the problem for most people in this situation.  If you are not currently tracking your spending then how do you know where your money is being spent?

Review the easy stuff first the fixed payments (for example car, house, and rent, insurance).   A fixed payment means these expenditures are repeating monthly or even weekly expenses that are the same every time.

Variable Expenses:

Okay, great you are still with me.  Next you need to look at where else you are spending your money.  This is easier than you think as most people used their credit card or debit card to make purchases.

Most banks or credit cards company offer a way to look at historical transactions online and you can start looking at where you are spending your money.

If you are good with excel or any spreadsheet, then export the data to excel and sort it out by date to start.  Make a new column and beside each purchase write what category it belongs too. 

Create categories that make sense to you for example I would suggest theses to start.   Entertainment, eating out, clothes, groceries, gas, car maintenance, utilities, cell phone, miscellaneous spending money (pocket money), travel, and gifts.

Beside each expenditure record a category and you will start to reveal your spending habits.  Now if you want the most accurate picture I would go back and do this for the last twelve months.

Why do I suggest twelve months?  Well you are likely to catch all those onetime events that add up like birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas – and ATM withdrawals.

Now with the spread sheets it’s easy to filter by category and average what you are spending per month on each area.

You now have a clear picture of your spending habits and one big step closer to solving your losing sleep over money issues and start sleeping better again with the reduced stress.

Income:

Figuring out how much you are taking home sounds easy but don’t fall into the traps we will review below.

First thing gather your paycheck stubs or look at the deposits you have made into your bank account for the last twelve months.

If you are salary and make the same every week then this will be easy.  If you are working by the hour then you will need to look at your base pay and we will talk about how to count overtime and bonuses as well.

My advice is not to build your budget where you are counting on bonuses and overtime to pay every day bills.  I have found this is one of the major causes for stress and sleep disturbances.

People start counting on bonuses and overtime because they have gotten them in the past.   Then they start buying things on credit and count on overtime or bonuses to pay for them. 

Until one day the company you are working for eliminates overtime or doesn’t payout the bonus you were expecting.  Now you are not sleeping at night anymore worried about how you are going to pay those bills.

Analyzing: Income versus Debt

If you compare just your monthly base income to monthly debt, what do you see?  Well since you are reading this article it’s a safe bet to say the expenses are greater than your income.  Record what the difference is “how much you are short each month”; this is now your target.

Hang on this is where we start talking about actions steps you can take to make some adjustments that will not be easy but are doable and can get you back to sleeping good at night.

Action Steps:

You have to take both of these approaches if you want to accelerate this process and get back on track and sleeping again.

This combination of reducing your spending and increasing your income is the most advantageous strategy in personal finance techniques.

The Big Step:

Identify and eliminate all unnecessary spending.   This means looking at your spending spreadsheet and seeing what you are spending on things like getting coffee and breakfast every morning, eating out for lunch daily, going to the bars, movies, 250 cable channels and I could keep listing.

Right now if you are trying to justify why you need that six dollar cup of coffee daily or 250 cable channels then I think I know why you are stressed and can’t sleep.

Believe me when I say it’s easier to start with the items above than start selling off your cars, boats, motor cycles, four wheelers and other toys. 

In some cases it might be necessary to do that as well, but let’s at least start on the easy ones. 

Now the trick is how much of those unnecessary items do you have to eliminate or reduce spending to reach your target we calculated above?

Still not at target – go deeper:

If eliminating all unnecessary spending doesn’t get you where you need to be then increasing your income to payoff fixed expenses is an option.

Another option is to sell larger items that are not necessary or down grade.  Down grading means selling your $50,000 SUV or Truck and buying a good used one for half that amount.  

That is not always doable as most are upside down in their automobile loans and cannot get out.  In that case I would recommend increasing your income.

Increasing Your Income:

Chances are you are not going be able to go into work and ask your boss for a raise as most companies have a process or yearly evaluation for that purpose.

If your company doesn’t have that process and it’s been more than a year since you have received a salary increase then it might be appropriate to ask.  Please do this in a professional manner and only if you truly deserve an increase.

Part Time Work:

There are plenty of part-time jobs out there and as I am writing this article I can’t go anywhere without seeing a help wanted or now hiring sign. 

Everywhere there are part time, weekend and evening jobs by the handful and you might have to swallow your pride a little to go take a job that is beneath your main job.

There is nothing wrong with working some extra hours to start reducing your debt.  You don’t have to do this forever just until you get enough debt paid off to live on your base pay.

The Key to Success and Sleeping Well at Night:

I am going to let you in on a valuable financial secret, it not about how much you make it’s more about how much you spend so you can save.

Starting with your IRA or 401k you should set a target for at least 10% contributions.  This is called paying yourself first.

It doesn’t matter how much you make as long as you live below your means.  Translated that means you should live on less than 80% of your take home pay in my opinion.

The other 20% gets tucked away in savings and not touched until you have one full year of income in the bank. 

Then you will have something to fall back on, after reaching that goal you can spend some of your savings as you go for things you want as long as you keep that one year full savings level all the time.

This strategy brings you piece of mind and which will result in a stress free living and full nights of sleep.

Conclusion: Losing Sleep Over Money Issues

It’s simple, always live below your means and a key way of doing this is called delayed gratification.  You do this by not buying things on impulse and sticking to your budget.

Master these easy skills and you won’t ever have to stress and lose sleep over money again.

Extra Sleeping Tips:

Want to get a great night sleep then take a good look at your sleep equipment.  A quality pillow can go long way in giving you the best’s night sleep.  This is a good investment once you have your debit paid off.

 

While you are reducing you debt and still stress you might want to try a weighted blanket to help your stress level.  Another good investment when you are caught up on your bills.

Works Cited

Arnold, K. (2020, June 23). Survey: Surprisingly fewer people losing sleep over money issues right now. Retrieved July 11, 2021, from Bankrate: 

Colten, H. R., & Altevogt, B. M. (2018, April 18). Extent and Health Consequences of Chronic Sleep Loss and Sleep Disorders. Retrieved July 2, 2021, from National Center for Biotechnology Information: 

Prusak, L. (2010, October 7). What Can’t Be Measured. Retrieved July 11, 2021, from Havard Business Review: 

 

Robert Frontier

Robert Frontier

Getting quality sleep is important to people of all ages and is just one of many areas of our health we need to be maintaining. When I was younger, I didn’t understand that my health was my greatest asset and took it for granted. I have spent the last twenty years of my life in the pursuit of a healthier life style. I am a parent, grandparent, author, and entrepreneur. My desire is for you and your family to get the best possible sleep and that starts with quality sleep products. Welcome to VJ Pillow.