Coping with Financial Stress
There is no doubt that COVID has had a wide-ranging impact on all of us. We know that one thing people often worry about is their financial situation. Financial worry is normal. Financial security, job security and a steady income are important basic things we require to provide for our loved ones, to feel safe and secure. Financial security supports our wellbeing, such as leisure time and activities. The loss of that security creates uncertainty and anxiety. If we are not careful to manage our thoughts and emotions, financial stress can dominate our thoughts 24/7 and impact on our health and wellbeing.
The way we view our financial situation can shape our thoughts and feelings more generally. Financial challenges can occur at many times during our lives – getting married or separated, buying or selling a home, illness, reduced work hours or redundancy. Understanding financial concepts can be confusing, but getting your finances in order will help reduce stress and get you back on track. Remember, you are not alone, and there is help available.
Here are some basic tips on reducing finance-related stress:
1) Learn to budget: If your financial situation is causing you stress, it’s vital to create a budget. Record all income and expenditure and know exactly what you spend on non-essential items. Be critical of what you are spending and cut down on any unessential items if necessary.
2) Pay off debt: Review and consolidate loans to help get them under control. Pay off your credit card debt and remember to start with the credit card with the highest interest rate.
3) Review fees: It’s important to review your bank and bank products as your life circumstances change. Compare and contrast bank fees and ensure you have the best products for your individual situation. Your bank manager can help talk you through the best options.
4) Save for a rainy day: Having an emergency or ‘rainy day’ fund can help alleviate financial stress knowing you have something in reserve. Start putting money away every month – even if it’s just a small amount, it all adds up.
5) De-stress: It’s normal to feel worried or anxious when times are hard but consider the impact financial stress is having on your life. Take time to relax and de-stress. Taking the right steps towards getting your finances in control will help ease stress.
How can AccessEAP help?
If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed by your financial situation, remember you are not alone. Financial coaching can help you understand and manage money by teaching you financial skills that last a lifetime. AccessEAP’s financial coaches will assist you in creating a personalised action plan to manage your debt and provide practical information on your options and rights. Confidential guidance and support, is available, to expertly and respectfully guide you back to financial control.