By Rebecca, RoughDraft
How to cope with financial anxiety when working away from home
Life can be unpredictable and due to different circumstances, you might end up working away from home. Now, this brings along a number of different challenges including being separated from your friends and family and spending your weekdays in an unfamiliar town or country.
But, all your efforts to overcome these two major emotional issues might be hindered by another, more tangible problem – money.
Financial anxiety can strike hard when you have to think about saving some money while you’re trying to make things work long distance.
Here are some tips to help you cope.
Create a budget
It’s particularly important to hold the reins of your money matters when you’re working away from home.
The first step towards reducing your financial anxiety is knowing how much money you have at your disposal at any time.
And that’s possible only if you create a budget and include both your incomes and your expenses, as well as all the bills that have to be covered.
With such a plan, it will be much easier to control your spending and to decide what will be on your priority shopping list without putting your savings in danger.
Save on food
It stands to reason that you’ll be sad and nostalgic when you don’t come home to your family after a long day at work, and it will frequently tempt you to crave comfort food.
And this mechanism for fighting melancholy can be expensive as eating out and ordering food can significantly increase your expenses.
Besides that, today’s hectic schedule of an average employee results in the fact that almost 50% of U.S. millennials spend more money on dining out than they put in their retirement funds.
In order to avoid the traps of sadness and busyness, prepare your meals for a week in advance, pack them in food containers, freeze them, and voila! You’ll have a hot (microwaved, but still), hearty, and affordable meal waiting for you every day.
Trim unnecessary expenses
There are numerous small unnecessary expenses that eat into your budget without being noticed.
That is, if you allow this to happen.
It’s easy to forget about that coffee to go that you take every other day or the subscription to an online magazine.
But the thing is that these small amounts add up, so you should cut corners whenever you can, and eliminate the expenses that you can do without or that can be entirely avoided.
For example, when you’re sending your hard-earned money back home, it’s a good idea to opt for an online remitter such as OrbitRemit and get lower fees and better exchange rates. This way you can make significant savings, particularly when you’re sending large sums overseas.
The odds are that you’ll be eager to go home and be with your family whenever you can. Spending time with your spouse and kids is something priceless, and yet, it does come with a hefty price tag – plane tickets or fuel can be pretty costly.
That’s why it’s important to sign up for a frequent-flyer program and monetize your having to be up in the air so often.
Carpooling is another option if you’re not so far away from home, and it’s great because not only will it allow you to split travel expenses but you’ll also have some company to make time go faster.
Reconsider your subscriptions
Go through all your subscriptions and cancel everything that you can’t use regularly or you don’t need anymore.
For example, if you’re going to the gym fewer than 10 times a month, it’s better to pay for individual sessions or work out at home.
Although many people are canceling their cable subscriptions, there’s no need to be so radical about it. Instead, you can downgrade your subscription and go from premium to a more affordable package. Or you can switch to streaming and on-demand services.
Also, check all the services that you have signed up online – sometimes there are tools and software products that have a recurring subscription so that you practically forget about them, and your card is charged once a month.
Monitor your spendings
All the tips listed above will be worthwhile only if you start using the right accounting software which will help you track your finances.
Every cent you spend should be noted down, and though this might seem like an additional burden, you’ll be using it on autopilot in no time.
This way you’ll also be able to identify where your money goes, which will allow you to tweak your spending habits.
These simple tips can help you alleviate financial stress and make sure not only that you stretch your paycheck until the next payday but also that you’re able to set aside at least a certain amount of money every month.
About the author
Rebecca is a translator by day, and a traveler mostly at night. She is an expert on living with jet lag – and packing in tiny suitcases. You can read more of her exploits at RoughDraft.