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Out of all the types of stress you may be dealing with, intense financial stress can cause you some of the most severe anxiety. Even more than anxiety, acute financial stress can result in migraines, insomnia, and even cardiovascular disease. Figuring out a way to manage this stress should be one of your top priorities.

Stay Out of Debt

Staying out of debt is perhaps the most important way to minimize financial stress. When you don’t have any debt, you don’t have to worry about paying off hefty sums with ever increasing interest. The best way to stay out of debt is to build good financial habits. According to Bankrate, you should start with building a budget.

Budget out your money towards housing, food, insurance, internet, car payments, and any other relevant expenses. Try to have money left over that you can save or invest. This allows you to make your money work for you.

Build an Emergency Fund

After you’ve built a budget, work to build an emergency fund. Whether you’re a college student or a mother of three kids, you need to have money set aside for emergencies. Your emergency fund might look different depending on your financial situation but just focus on starting to build one. Even if you only have a couple hundred dollars in your fund, that’s a good start.

According to Power Finance Texas, high-yield savings accounts at online banks are ideal for keeping your emergency fund. With a high-yield savings account, your bank pays you a higher interest rate for keeping your money sitting in the account. This is great for you because emergency funds are only withdrawn in the unlikely case of an emergency.

Build Your Credit

Financial stress manifests itself in the day-to-day when you worry about paying too much for gas or when you’re berating yourself for eating out too much in a week. But financial stress becomes especially poignant when it comes to big expenses like buying a house or a car.

According to CFP, if you invest time now into building your credit, you could reduce the interest rates you get on a home mortgage significantly, possibly resulting in thousands of dollars of savings.

If you are in debt or are struggling to pay your bills, figuring out how to dig yourself out of that hole can be overwhelming. Take a deep breath and start with one step at a time. Making simple goals and then achieving them one by one will help you gain motivation and confidence while you strengthen your financial situation bit by bit.

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