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It can be easy to get depressed about your finances, especially if you compare yourself to others. You can feel like you aren’t making enough money, aren’t saving enough money or that you aren’t fully prepared for the future. Check out the following tips to help stay positive while handling your money.

1. Look at the Big Picture

First, it’s important to try to think of the good things in your life. Recognizing your blessings can help reduce the stress of your finances. If you need some help putting things into perspective, consider doing charity work so you can see that your financial situation is not the most crippling out there. Helping others is a great way to boost your own feelings while bringing about positive change.

2. Create an Action Plan

Find out exactly where you stand financially by tallying all debts, sources of income and accounts. This is a great time to create or improve your budget. Calculate your current state and then think about if you are track to meet your financial goals and ways you can change your current spending to better meet those goals. This can include things like eliminating debt, boosting your retirement savings and/or creating an emergency fund. It may seem intimidating at first, but setting attainable shorter-term benchmarks can help you stay focused. Taking action also can make you feel more in control and therefore more positive.

3. Take Control of Your Emotions

Once you have your feet on the ground and a plan in mind, it’s a good idea to try to monitor your thoughts, reminding yourself that you are resourceful and you can manage. Try to avoid negative self-talk like “I’ll never save enough money for a home” or “I don’t make enough money to get out of debt.” Instead, help yourself find solutions. When you wake up each morning, take a few minutes to reiterate your goals and remind yourself why they are important and what steps you are taking (both that day and in general) to get closer to them. In addition, it’s a good idea to surround yourself with positive people who support your goals.

4. Give Yourself Permission to Enjoy Life

While it is important for your financial health to stay organized and on top of your money, it is also healthy to take some time away from the calculator. To stay sane, try some low-cost ways to enjoy yourself. Read a book, screen a movie, catch up with your positive-minded friends, cook, get creative or get outside for some exercise. Give yourself permission to enjoy life while you deal with your financial challenges.

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