Financial Technology

Cropped Stock Exchange 1222518 1920.jpg

Tag: development

How to Help Eliminate Financial Stress

There is no doubt that financial stress can have a severe impact on not only our personal mental health but also on our relationships. In fact, according to a study conducted by the financial firm TD Ameritrade, 41% of divorced Gen Xers and 29% of Baby Boomers say that their marriages ended due to disagreements about money. While having your personal finances in order is no guarantee that you won’t still fight about money with a partner or spouse, it can go a long way towards creating your own good mental health and wellbeing. Here are three tips to help eliminate financial stress.


  1. Track your spending


It is a sad, unfortunate fact that in the age of credit and debit cards, many people have no idea how they actually spend their money or where it all goes. Before you can create a realistic budget, you need to understand and identify your personal spending patterns. While that $6 latte each day may seem like a small purchase, over the course of a month they can add up to almost $200 and maybe even more if you are inclined to be a generous tipper.


  1. Create a realistic budget and stick to it


Creating a budget is easy, creating a realistic budget that actually accounts for your legitimate spending habits and patterns is much harder. This is partially due to the fact that some of your bills will vary from month to month. While it is fairly easy to budget for static bills like your rent or mortgage or car and insurance payments, creating a realistic food or entertainment budget may be more challenging. Credit cards make it too easy to spend more than you make and making only minimum monthly payments makes it easy to just keep racking up that credit card debt. A budget can help you begin to spend less than you make, but only if you stick with it.


  1. Create margins


Studies have shown that 40% of Americans would struggle to come up with even $400 to pay an unexpected expense. While spending only what you make is a good first step, your stress isn’t really going to go away until you create some cushion for the unexpected. While not spending more than you make is a good first step, ultimately the goal is to spend less than you make.

The Skill Learning Bias Jacob Parker Bowles

The Skill-Learning Bias

Our brains are complex and require significant effort to rewire. After all, our brains manage dozens of detailed operations throughout our body at any given time, so it tries to take shortcuts where it can. As a result, learning new skills — whether it be a foreign language or coding — becomes more difficult each day. Don’t believe me? Watch this video, where the man before SmarterEveryDay tries to learn a backward bicycle for months, and his son crushes it in a few minutes.

Why is it so difficult to learn new skills?

As said in the video, knowledge is not the same as understanding. We may read a book that gives us information, but that doesn’t mean we know what that information means. This is because of biases in our brain. Think of it like predictive text; the software uses your normal sentence patterns to predict what you will type next. This is nearly the same process our brain takes multiple times every day. By predicting our surroundings, what we read, what we hear, and what we will do, our brain makes it incredibly difficult to deviate from the pattern.

When is the best time to learn skills?

As a result, the older we get, the more difficult it becomes for us to learn new skills. It makes sense, as we have more experience detecting patterns each day. There is a scientific term to describe how structured your brain is: neuroplasticity. As children, we have more neuroplasticity, because our brains are able to take in and interpret more information without biases. As we learn, we create biases naturally. This is actually the basis for many psychological phenomena. Therefore, the best time to learn skills is as soon as you are able.

How should you learn a new skill?

The way you should learn a new skill may technically vary depending on the skill, but the best way is to practice regularly. Practicing for even 5 minutes every day is better than practicing for an hour every week. The skill needs to stay fresh in your mind and become a habit in order to stick. This is why many people lose the ability to speak a foreign language after they leave school, and why it is possible to forget how to do just about anything.

What are some skills you should learn?

Now that you understand why it is so difficult to learn a skill, you may be wondering which skills to learn. This will, for the most part, depend on your field and your interests. For example, a web design freelancer may also want to learn about ethical hacking. If there is nothing of interest in your field, you could always try learning a difficult foreign language (such as Arabic or Mandarin), improve your writing skills, or public speaking. No company will criticise you for practicing one of these.

Whether you are a manager or a low-level employee, you should keep this information in the back of your mind. Every year, our ability to learn decreases at a constant rate, and that can make training and retraining more difficult. However, it is also important to remember that while learning new skills is challenging, it is ultimately not impossible.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén