Financial well-being is a critical part of our mental and physical health, and yet, so many of us are afraid to talk about our relationship with money. The cultural conversation around financial stressors can seem negative and judgmental, but when we’re honest with each other about the small changes that have helped us build sustainable habits, reduce our stress, and set ourselves up for financial security, we open up the conversation and help each other improve. Below are some tips for reframing your mindset around money and alleviating financial stress:

Shift the language you use around money
Try not to say things like, ‘I’m not good with money’ or ‘I don’t really understand financial stuff.’ Instead form a new alliance, taking total responsibility for your finances. Change your language to, ‘I can have a healthy, responsible and enjoyable relationship with money.’ This small change led you to embrace new tools and systems to support your understanding of how best to partner with money. Stop being afraid of your finances snd see money as an important relationship that needs your nurturing and attention just as much as other relationship.

Write down your spending non-negotiables
Don’t avoiding dealing with financial issues out of fear of not understanding them properly. There is often a subconscious belief that financial issues are generally complex and confusing. Learn how to best handle money and monetary decisions. One tip that may help is to decide on the non-negotiable items you want to spend on according to your personal values. For example, healthy, wholesome food for your family, instead of cheap junk food. We cannot manage anything that we aren’t aware of whether that is our food, our health, our relationships or our finances.

View your credit as cash
One tip to reduce financial stress is to view your credit as cash. Almost all of us have thought that we can afford something expensive if we put it on credit. That mindset often leads you down a slippery slope. Once you begin treating everything like you are buying it with cash, you may stop spending like there were unlimited tomorrows to pay it off. Also, think realistically and budget before making a big purchase. Your financial future becomes less stressful and enjoyable knowing that you have no credit debt and that you can save more.

Treat your savings account as an expense
If you have a percentage or dollar goal in mind for monthly savings, have it automatically withdrawal into a ‘difficult’ accessing bank and treat it as an expense. This tip may save you much stress and help you to organize your savings.

Talk to someone about your stressors
Talk to someone about your financial situation. Personal finances remains somewhat of a taboo topic in society, but if you open up with someone you trust, you will find others open up as well, and then you quickly learn that your situation and the things that worry you are not very different from others. Talking about it alone can drastically reduce stress, and of course, open you up to different ideas and perspectives that can lead to a healthier financial future.

Reflect on your bigger purchases
If you notice that you’re spending more than you’d like, take a look at what specifically you’ve been buying over the last several months. Notice the big-ticket items and repeated purchases from a certain category. What are the emotional and psychological benefits that you’re getting from these things? Some examples could be fulfillment, happiness or connection. Then, consider some alternative lower-cost or no-cost ways in which you can give yourself this same boost.