Nine (9) ways to avoid financial stress

Financial stress is a common experience for many.  The continuing effects of the global financial crisis, combined with rising interest rates and rising prices puts many families under stress.  Here are nine (9) tips to help you get back on the path to stress-free living.

1. Work on improving your income

You must have a regular source of income and preferably more than one.   Your income is the foundation of a stress-free financial life.   Income can flow from a variety of sources, but most importantly, it creates the opportunity to repay debt, build wealth and maintain your desired lifestyle.

2. Avoid credit cards

Don’t spend money you don’t have and don’t let your credit spending get out of control.   It is much smarter and safer to use a debit card to access money you have already saved.   Even better, you won’t have the monthly stress of receiving a growing credit card bill.

3. Go ‘pre-paid’ on your mobile phone

A mobile phone is just another way to spend money you don’t have.   To add to your stress, many telephone companies are quick to ruin your credit rating if you don’t pay on time.    The most economical way to have a mobile is to use pre-paid phone cards.   This way you pay with money you know you have.

4. Go back to paying cash

Pretend you are back in the days when credit cards didn’t exist and you paid cash for your purchases.   You will once again appreciate the true value of money as you stop and think before every purchase.

5. Pay off personal debt quickly

Owing money can be a particularly stressful experience.  It’s always best to spend less than you earn but it is not difficult for debt can get way out of control, particularly when things go wrong in life.  It is a common mistake to use expensive debt to finance periods of illness and recovery.  This is the job of savings and insurance.

There are no tax breaks for personal debt, so get rid of it as fast as you can.   Personal debt includes home loans, personal loans, car loans, hire purchase and all forms of credit.   There is a variety of ways to manage debt and reduce your stress levels quickly.

6. Consolidate your Debts

If you have equity in your home or an investment asset, you may be able to consolidate all your debts into one at the home loan rate of interest.   As part of a home loan refinance, your personal debts can be rolled into your mortgage loan, which means one loan repayment per month at a lower interest rate instead of many.

7. Create a cash buffer for the Unexpected

Life is full of little emergencies and unexpected events.   A stress-beating nest egg tucked away in an easily accessible cash account won’t alter the emergency, but it will certainly help relieve the financial worry of affording a new fridge or car repair.

8. Build a Nest Egg for the Future

Investment means creation of wealth by building your personal portfolio of growth assets.   Generally speaking, the more income producing quality assets you have behind you, the lower will be your stress levels.  You will need professional assistance to guide you to investments that are appropriate for you.

9. Protect Yourself against the unexpected

Plenty of things can go wrong during your life.   Disaster can strike your health, your home, your family, your income, your business and your personal wealth.     Smart people are those who not only invest wisely, but sleep easy by insuring themselves and their property against the unexpected.

If you are thinking about a new business or a new income stream, you will get a lot out of my new book ‘Recession Riches and Wealth’.  Click on the Recession Riches and Wealth page of this blog:

Until next time!


Emotional business management – the Aiki way

Photo courtesy of Spiral Photography

In a recent blog article, It’s ok to be emotional,  I talked about the issue of bringing emotions to work and how it is generally frowned upon in traditional work places.

In a series of follow up articles, I would like to explore this issue a little deeper.

The fact is that business owners, managers and employees all bring their emotions to work.  Like it or not, human emotions are here to stay as long as business is based on human interaction.

What is not widely appreciated is that the human emotions many bosses want banished from the work place can actually be the foundation of good business interaction.  The secret lies in understanding it and self managing it.

As I pointed out in my previous article, Emotional Intelligence (EI) Researchers have found a direct correlation between high EI and effective leadership, team success and employee performance.

Emotional Intelligence is an awareness of one’s own and others’ emotions and the ability to control those emotions and influence the emotions of others.  Those who have high levels of emotional intelligence are generally happier with them selves and suffer less stress.

I would like to introduce a new concept to the discussion of emotional business interactions.  It is called Aiki-emotional management and its principles are derived from the art of Aikido.

Aikido is a Japanese martial art whose origins can be traced back to the feudal era of the Samurai.  It is a purely defensive martial art that has an inbuilt care for the wellbeing of the attacker.  Although it can be dangerous and even lethal, it is not a fighting art.  It is known throughout the world as the art of peace.

Aikido, in its simplest translation, means ‘the way of joining energy’ – ‘Ai’ (join), ‘ki’ (energy) and ‘do’ (the way).

Care must always be taken with the absolute meanings of words which have been derived from symbols, in this case Chinese and Japanese kanji, because they represent ideas rather than literal translations of the components.

Nevertheless, the principle of ‘Aiki’ describes an idea of oneness and harmony in the midst of conflict.  In aikido, it describes the notion of blending rather than clashing.

One of the secrets of Aikido is that it requires a completely calm mind and relaxed body to execute it.  Size, strength and speed of an opponent don’t matter in the slightest because force is never met with force.

The idea of oneness also includes oneness of the self.  The coordination of mind and body and making positive human connections through the extension of ‘Ki’ energy are central to the art.

Aikido is all about balance, timing, movement and self control.  The energy of another is welcomed, co-joined and redirected, usually to the ground or to immobilization.  To deliberately injure another person in anything other than the most dire and extreme circumstances, is considered a failure.

There are no competitions in Aikido, only regular practice.  It is often referred to as an internal art because it is considered to be a personal journey of learning whose principles have wide application in everyday life.

In the next article, I will continue this blog journey of applying the hidden principles of Aikido to the emotional human being at work.

For more reading about Aikido and its many secrets, visit my other blog at

If you are starting your own business or even considering it, you should read my book “Recession Riches and wealth” Go to the recession riches and wealth page on this blog.

Until next time