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How to reduce your financial stress today

There will be many Aussies facing financial stress as the coronavirus pandemic takes hold. We’re well and truly into an ASX bear market despite some positive signs of a share market turnaround. With businesses shutting down and the country heading towards a lockdown period, here are a few ways to manage your financial stress immediately.

Take a deep breath

There’s no doubt that these will be scary times for many Aussies. You may have lost your job, be facing unemployment or have another source of financial stress. 

Taking action where you can is a helpful way to keep calm and grounded – so one thing you can do now is get your house in order. I’ve written about how to reduce your spending quickly, which is a great place to start. With uncertainty comes fear, but your ASX shares have likely started to see a rebound in recent days. That’s good news, and while it’s still early days, any positives are a real bonus right now.

Taking a deep breath and getting in a good headspace is a great starting point to reduce your financial stress.

Work out how much money you need

Many of the biggest ASX 200 shares like Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) are looking to shore up their balance sheets. But it’s not just the Aussie corporates that should be doing this. Liquidity is key in times like these, and you should work out what cash you need in the short-term. Put money aside for rent, bills, food and other essentials.

However, try to avoid selling your ASX shares. If you’ve ridden the market this much lower, you don’t want to sell at the bottom. Crystallising your losses can hurt your financial future and cause more financial stress in the future.

Start investing when you can

Sorting out your short-term expenses should alleviate some financial stress. No one really knows how long this pandemic will drag on for or what the economic impact will be. A recession looks almost inevitable, but things could start trickling back to life in 2020.

Once you’ve relaxed and managed to reduce your financial stress, start putting a plan together to build long-term wealth. Stock up your emergency fund and start investing your extra cash into cheap ASX 200 shares.

If you're already at the stage of investing more for the future, here are 5 high-quality ASX shares that could build out your retirement portfolio in 2020.

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Motley Fool contributor Ken Hall has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Webjet Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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