Are you stressed by your financial situation? You’re not alone. According to research from the Monday and Pensions Service, 36% of UK adults report that thinking about their finances causes them to worry. And with inflation on the rise and the recent headlines surrounding fuel prices and rocketing energy bills, this number is likely to increase.
Financial stress can affect people in many ways, leading to anxiety and depression, sleep problems, isolation and poor work performance. It’s not just those on low incomes who are affected either, worrying about finances is common across a variety of circumstances.
We’ll explore ways to help manage stress and worry caused by financial issues, whatever the situation.
Identify the cause
Are you worried about a lack of money? Or perhaps you’ve got some essential big purchases to make in the future. You could even be concerned about how to best manage or invest the money you do have. Identifying the cause will help point you in the right direction to overcome your stress.
Seek expert advice
Once you’ve worked out the trigger for your financial worry, you’ll be armed with the knowledge to be able to seek help. This could mean getting advice from wealth managers, speaking to your bank or financial planning advisors.
Learn how to budget and manage money
Being able to budget properly means you’ll be better equipped at managing your finances. This could involve creating spreadsheets of your outgoings and identifying areas where you can cut back. This will also help you to build savings for an emergency fund and give you a safety net in case you struggle with financial issues in the future.
Reduce your debt
Make paying off any debt a priority and don’t take on any new sources of debt. Not only will you be able to save more, keeping up with repayments will also contribute to a good credit score. Incorporate this into your budget planning and set up an automatic payment each month for credit cards or loans.
This could involve paying off a certain amount of debt by the end of the year, saving enough money to pay for a new car or reducing your weekly food bill by a third. Make your goals realistic and measurable and you’ll be more likely to stick to them.
Identifying the source of any money stress is key to managing worry but, if you’re struggling with debt or the cost of day-to-day living, it’s a good idea to seek advice from Citizens Advice to find out if you’re entitled to any help.