We’ve heard from a lot of our customers that the reason they want to cancel their timeshare is financial. From struggling to make payments to missing payments, we understand how overwhelming timeshare ownership can feel sometimes, so we’ve put together a list of 5 ways to cope with financial stress. You are not alone. With more than ten years of experience canceling timeshares and more than 15,650 satisfied customers, we’re here to help. From practical financial tips to emotional relief, here are a few ideas.
1. Create a Spending Plan
When dealing with financial stress, certain factors are in your control and some situations simply are not. To feel less overwhelmed, it’s important to accept what you can’t change, and instead, focus on what you can. One exercise that can help you identify where changes can be made with your finances and to feel more in control of your situation is to create a spending plan.
At first, going through all of your finances might feel like it increases your stress. Sometimes, when you’re trying to create change and a new pattern in your life, it can feel so much easier to distance and distract from the problem instead. In the long run though, ignoring the problem can make the situation worse. Creating a spending plan can be a helpful way for you to take a step back. From this new perspective, you might be able to better see what your total income is, what all of your expenses are, and where you might be able to cut spending. Sometimes just the exercise of having to write everything out on paper, especially if you are a visual learner, can help your finances feel less overwhelming. While it might be hard to cut larger expenses, seeing everything laid out in a list might make it easier for you to see where you can make several little cuts. Smaller cuts can really start to add up. For example, cutting just four expenses by $25 a month equals $100 a month. That’s $1200 a year of cut expenses.
To not make this exercise add any more stress to your plate, creating a spending plan is not necessarily something that you have to sit down and do all at once. Even doing a little bit of planning every day or week – to break it up into more manageable chunks – can make a difference and help you get your finances more organized. If you’re having trouble finding the time or motivation, try setting a timer for 5 -15 minutes a day and dedicate just that small chunk of time to working on your plan. You might be surprised that some days you feel the energy to go even longer, but if you don’t, just a few minutes a day can start to add up to a lot of time as well. If you need help identifying and planning out all of your income and expenses, the organization Smart About Money (SAM) has put together this free budget worksheet to get you started.
2. Take Care of Your Body
When you’re feeling stressed, it can be really easy to stop taking care of yourself in various ways. Taking care of yourself by taking care of your physical health though is important. When your body is healthy, it can also make dealing with financial stress feel more manageable. Here are some examples:
Studies show that working out can make you more resilient in the face of stress. In addition, the Mayo Clinic says that exercise can potentially help relieve stress by increasing your endorphins (neurotransmitters in your brain), boosting your mood, and improving your sleep.
Working out doesn’t need necessarily to be expensive or high-impact either. You can do what is right for your body, lifestyle, and budget. Here are some free fitness apps you can use for inspiration and guidance and free online workout videos. Companies like ClassPass, also offer free at-home workout videos. You might also want to walk around your neighborhood or go for a quick hike nearby. Workouts don’t necessarily have to be very long or intense.
Please note, for your safety, if you are newer to exercise or have any underlying health issues or concerns, you may want to speak with a doctor before beginning any new exercise plan.
Another way to take care of your body is to give it healthy and nutritious food. Studies show that stress can have a negative impact on our bodies and that unhealthy eating habits can increase stress. Many foods can potentially help with stress management, for example, this list by WebMD. Eating healthy looks different for different types of bodies though, so if you have any questions or concerns, always consult a trained medical professional.
It can be easy to think eating healthy has to be expensive, but there are many affordable ways to eat healthier. For example, you can buy discount groceries from sites such Misfits Market.
Buying your groceries online will even save you gas money by not having to drive to the store. If you need some recipes or inspiration, here are some healthy and budget-friendly recipes from Budget Bytes and EatingWell.
Making sure you’re drinking enough water is another great way to cope with stress. When we’re dehydrated, our bodies aren’t working as best as they can and our stress hormones can increase. While drinking water won’t solve all our problems, it can help make your body feel less stressed. Water filters can be an affordable way to have drinking water always available and you can reuse large and small beverage bottles as on-the-go containers.
Sleep is an essential need for our bodies. If we don’t get enough sleep, it can have negative impacts on our memory and mood. Not getting enough sleep can also increase our stress hormones. The American Psychological Association even goes so far as to say that getting just 60-90 minutes of extra sleep would be enough for most Americans to feel “happy, healthier, and safer.”
3. Take Care of Your Emotions
In addition to taking care of your physical body, trying to taking care of your emotions is another way to help cope with financial stress. Calming your mind and processing the emotions you’re feeling around your finances can help you to feel stronger and not feel as alone. Making sure you are taking care of your emotions in a healthy way can also help make the situation feel more manageable. Here are some ways that might help:
Meditation can be a very simple and effective tool to help you process and cope with stress. Studies show that it can have a wide range of benefits, from helping with high blood pressure to reducing anxiety. If you’re new to meditation, there are a lot of free and guided resources, such as the Insight Timer app or various YouTube channels. You can also find some free meditations available in multiple languages from the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center.
Sometimes we can reset our perspective by getting a pep talk or listening to a motivational talk. It can help remind us of our worth and our resilience, as well as helping us to feel more balanced. There are free motivational videos available on YouTube as well as here at TED.
Journaling can be a great tool for helping you cope with stress and anxiety. It’s also a very budget-friendly way to practice emotional self-care. All you need is something to write with and a notebook, which you can usually find at stores like Target and CVS for no more than a couple of dollars. Journaling is very personal and there isn’t a “right” way to do it. Just write and/or draw what is on your mind. It can be a great way to express your feelings, process your emotions, figure out what you might be feeling, and sometimes even find solutions. For more about the benefits of journaling, check out this The New York Times article.
Talk to Someone
When feeling stressed, it can be really easy to feel like the whole world is on your shoulders or that you are alone. It’s can also be easy to isolate when you feel that way. Studies show though that we feel better when we talk to someone about our problems. Sometimes it might feel like enough to talk with a supportive friend, and sometimes you might feel like you want to talk to a professional. Speaking to a therapist can be a way to get help from someone who is trained, objective, and solely focused on helping you.
If you’re worried about affording therapy, Open Path Psychotherapy Collective is a non-profit that helps people find mental health professionals at deeply discounted rates. In addition, if your employer offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), you may also be able to get a certain amount of free counseling sessions.
If you are experiencing an emergency, please dial 911. If you are considering suicide, please call the 24-hour and free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
4. Find Healthy Stress Relievers
Another way to try to cope with financial stress is to find healthy stress relievers that can help you try to find some joy, peace, and calm. These kinds of activities might be able to help you reset, take your mind off of your worries for a second, and help your situation feel more manageable. Stress relievers don’t have to be expensive and some are completely free. Here are a few ideas to use as inspiration:
Cooking healthy meals for yourself and/or your family can be a great way to take care of your body and could make you feel better. As mentioned above, you can buy food at discount prices at sites like Misfits Market and there are many articles online geared towards budget-friendly recipes.
A regular yoga practice has been scientifically proven to increase serotonin levels, improve depression, help you relax, lower anxiety levels, and improve physical health. Practicing yoga doesn’t have to be expensive. Here is a list of 20 of the best YouTube channels for yoga compiled by SELF to get you started. You can also check out these free classes at CorePower Yoga. As with any exercise regimen, you may want to check with your doctor before starting.
In a study by the University of Sussex, findings showed that just six minutes of reading could lower stress levels by 68%. Whether it’s a fictional story you can escape in or an inspiring and educational non-fiction book, reading can be a great and affordable way to manage stress. Check out your local library for completely free physical books, audiobooks, and Kindle books.
Don’t underestimate the power of a quick dance break. Try putting on a song you’re loving right now or an old favorite and commit to dancing around your home for the entire length. You can do it by yourself or with friends and family. You might feel a little silly or self-conscious at first, but chances are you’ll crack a smile a least once.
For some people, cleaning can help you feel more relaxed by giving you a sense of control. Sometimes cleaning your house can feel like you’re cleaning out your mind or thoughts.
Volunteering can also be a way to cope with financial stress. It can help your time feel rewarding and help you feel connected to people. If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, try searching VolunteerMatch or contact your favorite local charity to see how you might be able to get involved.
5. Cancel Your Timeshare
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed about owning a timeshare or if you are feeling stuck with the financial obligation, it is possible to get rid of it – legally and permanently. The easy way to get out of a timeshare is to work with a timeshare cancellation company. A timeshare cancellation company negotiates with your timeshare resort on your behalf to get you out of your timeshare contract. Imagine how you could use the money that you’re spending on loan repayments and/or timeshare fees?
If you need help knowing what to look for in a cancellation company, we’ve put together this guide on how to choose the best timeshare exit company. You can also schedule a free consultation with Timeshare Freedom Group, the leading timeshare exit company in the industry. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we can help you cope with the financial stress you may be feeling as a timeshare owner. Reach out to us here or call us at 1-866-668-6872 to speak to a timeshare cancellation expert.
Do You Feel Like Your Timeshare Has Become Too Stressful to Keep?
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