You know the old, familiar saying "money can't buy happiness"? Well, that may be true, but the stress that comes with money troubles can certainly bring about unhappiness. Poorly managed finances can have a disastrous effect, not only on one's bank account, but also on a person's frame of mind and even relationships. Arguments over money and finances have long been cited as the leading cause of divorce in the United States [source: CNN].
The good news is that, in many cases, economic woes can be avoided by making a very simple thing: a budget. Sure, it may sound easy. But many of us have difficulty doing it, even when the economy is soaring and finances are good.
Sitting down and examining the actual cost of your expenditures is often an eye-opening experience. Many people unconsciously fritter away large chunks of their income with needless purchases. Is it really necessary to buy a $4 cup of coffee every morning on the way to work? That's $20 a week, $80 a month, adding up to a total of $960 a year! For some people, that may be worth it, but for most, it's not.
If you sit down and logically look at your finances and determine where to cut back, where to splurge and where to save, you'll be better equipped, both emotionally and financially, to handle times of economic uncertainty. Whether you're rolling in riches or tightening your belt, making a budget and sticking to it is perhaps the most important thing you can do to remain upbeat and optimistic in any economic situation.