Worry. Stress. Anxiety. These are words that most are acquainted all too well with. When we worry, become stressed, or allow anxiety to build up within us, we are allowing negative emotions, such as fear, to control our thoughts and eventually our behaviors. Worry comes from our fear of not knowing and the fact that we might not be able to control the outcome of certain things. We then play scenarios in our minds, like the “What if” game, to try and gain some feeling of control or knowledge of what the outcome will be. Unfortunately, worrying too much can cause physical and psychological health issues, making it imperative that we learn some alternatives to worrying.
When we worry, it can begin to consume us to the point that our daily habits begin to change. Some people will not eat while others will overeat for comfort. Relationships are affected. We can lash out because we are frustrated about a situation that we are uncertain about. We can also retreat into ourselves, neglecting the relationships of friends and family. Sleeping can become difficult because we have too much on our minds. With lack of sleep or a preoccupation with our thoughts, our job performance can decline because we are not really present. Negative habits can begin to build as we try to cope, such as cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and abusing drugs. Eventually, if not controlled or handled in a positive way, worrying can turn into anxiety and cause serious problems to our health. Some side effects of worrying are dizziness, fatigue, headaches, inability to concentrate, irritability, muscle aches and tension, nausea, and trembling. These can then lead to a poor immune system, digestive disorders, short-term memory loss, premature coronary artery disease, and heart attacks. Psychologically, worrying can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety disorders.
It is important to understand what worrying is and how it can affect us from the small things and build into larger things. It is also equally important to understand how to handle or avoid worrying. Some practical things to do would be exercising on a regular basis, eating a well-balanced diet, avoiding caffeine and other stimulants, and learning to relax and meditate. If we find ourselves worrying, it is important to talk to a doctor or see a professional such as a psychologist to help us talk through our worrying and find a solution to it.
Worrying is a fear of the unknown. Although we may think the fear is realistic, it is not because it is based on what we think not what will really happen. It can destroy our health and create more problems for us in the long run. A great prayer to remember when you feel yourself start to worry is, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” If we can remember that, we may start to worry less and enjoy life more.
Money is something that we work hard for. It is something that is a necessity. It is something that we want to use wisely. The downfall of money is that without a system in place to manage it, it seems to walk away from us easier and faster than it was to get into our pockets. A wise manager of money knows that it needs to be held accounted for; hence, putting a personal budget in place for yourself or your whole family is imperative so that the stresses of living paycheck to paycheck are eliminated, and if, heaven forbid, someone loses their job, the budget has a savings to help substantiate the loss of income for a certain amount of time. Budgeting isn't always easy, but there are simple concepts that can be applied to the most complex of budgets that will make the decisions of where the money goes a little easier.
A simple concept to remember when budgeting is that 20 percent of each check or 20 percent of the total income for the family is placed immediately into savings. Some vary on whether to take 20 percent of the gross or the net of the income. That decision is entirely up to what is preferably to you. Saving 20 percent though allows for the buildup of a savings account that will be beneficial to the family or yourself if there is a job loss, someone becomes ill and cannot work, or some other emergency arises. This is the most important part of the budget because it is the life jacket to your finances in case something goes wrong.
The third part of simple budgeting is a continuation of envelopes, but you look at the basic needs of the family and also the wants of the family. The basic needs could be health insurance, food, clothing, beauty and health, cleaning products for the house, gas for the cars, car repairs, car insurance, and the list can go on depending on the needs (things that the family cannot live without). You then determine a percentage of the money left after bills and savings that should go into each envelope for these things. The wants envelopes come after all needs are budgeted. Wants could consist of entertainment and vacations or whatever else is not needed to live, but wanted for enjoyment purposes.
The key to simple budgeting is self-control. There will be times when there are wants, but the budget does not provide for them. Our instinct would say to pull from something else for the momentary pleasure. If you give into that though, it could ultimately destroy the budget you worked so hard to put together and you can fall back into living paycheck to paycheck. The key to simple budgeting is learning how to discipline yourself to save and to say no. The no-no’s per se to simple budgeting is to not borrow from yourself, from savings, or from others. Stick to the budget and wisely managing that hard earned money and your family will learn to thank and appreciate it in the long run as there is less stress and more enjoyment.
When I was young, around 6 years old, my parents started giving me an allowance for doing chores around the house. It started out as small, 25 cents a week, and then rose to $7 a week when I was a teenager. When they began, though, they taught me a simple principle that I have carried with me into adulthood (hence the article you just read) - 10% into tithing (or for those who don't go to church, charities), 20% into savings, and 70% into spending. When I was 10 years old, I was able to open my own bank account under my parents' names. The organization who helped my parents teach me was Larry Burkett (who has now passed). The organization has transitioned into Crown Financial Ministries. Although it is a Christian based organization, the principles discussed are logical and can be used by anyone from any belief system.
I am a mother of two - a son who was born in 2011 and daughter who was born in 2013. I am a writer at heart. I wrote my first book when I was in Kindergarten. In high school, I won $300 and a plaque for an essay contest for Next magazine (http://www.floridanext.com/info.asp). They published my essay in the magazine (2001). I also got published in my college newspapers - poetry and articles.