Author Topic: Mortgage Debt, Finances and Stress  (Read 3835 times)

Auckland Stubble

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Mortgage Debt, Finances and Stress
« on: March 01, 2016, 09:44:44 AM »
Over the past few months I've come down with stress related issues, primarily linked to finances.

I've therefore been doing everything I can to remove stress out of my day to day living. These include things like no having so many time commitments, not organizing events but letting others do it in the meantime, eating well, getting regular sleep, you know the obvious.

However, I then started looking on how to reduce stress in my finances. I found I was putting so much time into researching investments, how to save money, how to maximise every dollar. I invested in stocks along side my mortgage payments, but have since just decided to cash those in and pay back my mortgage, reducing payments and stress. I've also automated every financial decision. The time to relax, reflect and de-clutter my life has very much reduced my stress levels.

How do you reduce stress in life and finances (since this is a financial forum)?


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Re: Mortgage Debt, Finances and Stress
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2016, 09:51:09 AM »
So you took money out of a down market to pay off a low-risk debt? THAT would cause me stress! Although I think I read somewhere that mortgages tend to be higher rate/not fixed/higher risk outside of the US, so maybe that would skew my feelings toward it.

Stress management: working out, sleeping enough, hiking as often as I possibly can. Those are my main techniques. I'm a nurse, and I feel like stress management is a huge part of the job! I do think automating as many processes as you can helps. I also apply the idea of building a buffer on the good days so I can use them on the bad- this applies to everything like batch cooking and freezing, getting more housework done the days I have the energy, etc.


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Re: Mortgage Debt, Finances and Stress
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2016, 09:53:53 AM »
Two things:
I'm reading The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal right now, where she talks about stress reduction and why it's not necessarily the solution. I might recommend it to help you reconsider how you're coping with stress in your life (not to say that there isn't a fair amount of it!).

Next, I've found that my finances are VERY VERY BORING since I started using YNAB (You Need a Budget). Zero-based budgeting is exciting for about two months and then becomes super easy. My spouse and I have a budget meeting on the first of every month where we decide what happens to last month's overage, discuss room for improvement, etc. and then leave. Five minutes tops, plus the manual entry of the transactions we do make through the month (which I'd be doing anyway).


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Re: Mortgage Debt, Finances and Stress
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2016, 10:22:49 AM »
regarding investments, I tend to only focus on the number of shares I own of my index funds.  The market may wiggle around, but the number of shares just goes up.

regarding debt - I've paid off everything under 4.5% and I've put everything else on autopay and ignore it.  I've made my decision not to ever pay down debt under 4%, so giving it any of my thought is a waste of time.

regarding our journey to FI - that's the most stressful to me right now, in part because we are currently light in the income department until we both finish our advanced degrees.  Still, I know that we'll be ok as long as income > expenses.  We're determined not to succumb to lifestyle-inflation when better jobs do come, and at this point we've heavily ingrained habits of thrift that should thwart lifestyle-creep.


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Re: Mortgage Debt, Finances and Stress
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2016, 01:20:45 PM »
I often find myself stressing about finances for no reason.  I get anxious about waiting another couple of years to retire, spending too much on weekend trips or cars or what not. 

It's a tough balancing act.  But, life is to be enjoyed and sometimes spending money is OKAY.

Setting investments on auto pay is the way to go.  I get paid and I automatically transfer most of it to vanguard.  set it and forget it.


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Re: Mortgage Debt, Finances and Stress
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2016, 07:40:41 PM »
Have an FU Fund.

Found out today there's a slim chance my department might run out of funding before the end of the year and would have to let me go in that event.  After a few seconds of dread I reminded myself I have a 6-month FU Fund.  Oh well, my resume is ready.


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Re: Mortgage Debt, Finances and Stress
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2016, 08:15:04 PM »
I am very fortunate to say that I am pretty much stress free. I went through hell to beat social anxiety in my 20's and through beating that have become very good at handling stress. Money is one thing that has never really stressed me out probably to the point of being too little. For myself I made my finances a fun thing and find it fun to pay down my student loan etc. I find it fun to watch and learn about investing. I find it fun to read and learn more on these forums. It took some time to condition myself to get that way.

I beat my anxiety in the past by working at controlling my reaction to the feeling of stress. I slowly learned to be able to simply close it off in my mind. It is hard to explain but I basically just through the stress away. If i feel anxiety pick up I simply refocus and get rid of it.


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Re: Mortgage Debt, Finances and Stress
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2016, 08:33:37 PM »
hey OP are you in Auckland NZ?

I hear you. Not fixating is often hard for me to do, and the anxiety can bring me to a total stand still. I hope the stress related issues are not too bad, and that you have started doing something early.  When i feel worst about my fincances is when i am sitting at a computer staring at the numbers looking for progress or change. It all happens to slow for that and as someone above mentioned, is not that interesting.

My tactics? I am lucky enough to have a partner who is good at keeping me going, as she is very pragmatic and lets me talk/ramble a lot of things through with her. Eat well, sleep well and DO THINGS (can't be number watching if have my hands full of garden or am out walking a trail). For me I can only sleep well if I have been active in the day, and feel some sense of accomplishment. When I find myself stalled i start on ticking off really small things that i want to get done. I bake bread, I fix something, mow a lawn, go for a swim.

Hope things are looking on the up.


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Re: Mortgage Debt, Finances and Stress
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2016, 09:02:05 PM »
I've long had the motto that I can't really afford something unless I can afford to buy it, break it on the way home, and then buy it again the following day.


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