Want Less Stress? How a Financial Plan Helps

Matthew Gray |

Stress. Did you tense up a bit just reading that word?


If you are like me, stress is something you deal with every day. Some days are better than others, but I would bet every day we all deal with some sort of pressure like this. 


In my experience, there are two overall categories of stress and it is important to recognize the differences. 


The first category of stress is challenges we choose to take on. Think of deciding to have children or building an addition on your home.


We (for the most part) make conscious decisions in these examples to add complexity to our lives, both financial and otherwise. 


We do so with the expectation that life will be better with these changes than if we maintain the status quo. 


In these cases, planning on the front-end and during the process can go a long way towards making the entire experience more enjoyable. 


For instance, having the money set aside to pay for the medical bills associated with the birth of a child or creating a budget for the renovation of the house can take much of the financial stress out of these events. 


In some instances, you may find that planning leads to choosing a different action or modifying your goal. In others, it may free you to pursue what you have always wanted!


I’ve worked with many clients who didn’t think they could afford a certain home project or buy a house. Once we got a handle on their situation and created a plan for how to move forward, they realized their vision was possible. 


This greatly reduces much of the anxiety surrounding these decisions. 


The second type of stressors are the surprises that hit us out of the blue. Consider a car wreck that totals the vehicle, a medical emergency, or having to replace your HVAC unit unexpectedly. 


These are impossible to fully plan for ahead of time because they are, by definition, unanticipated! 


However, proactive planning can still make these occurrences much less painful.


One of the major concepts I remind people of in this area is maintaining a healthy emergency fund. It’s amazing how much less stressful these unwelcome surprises are when you have the cash on hand to deal with them! 


Of course, they are still unpleasant, but being able to pay out of pocket instead of having to take out a loan or raid savings from other goals like retirement makes these scenarios much more palatable. 


There are many other steps you can take to prepare for these rainy days including making sure you have all the proper insurances in place, getting your estate documents in order, and having “what if” conversations with your family. 


All of these are integral parts of your financial plan that can make all aspects of our lives, both the predictable parts and the unexpected, much less stressful! 


If you would like to talk about how a financial plan can make your life less stressful, schedule a time to chat with me!