With the events of the last two years resulting in increased stress levels for many, it is more important than ever to recognise the impact of stress on our mental and physical wellbeing and take steps to prevent or reduce stress becoming a catalyst for more serious health concerns. Financial pressure is one of the leading causes of stress, and whilst it may not be possible to eradicate it completely, there are ways to drastically reduce anxiety surrounding finances. For April 2022, Stress Awareness Month, we have collated some ways to help you manage financial stress and approach money-management in a more positive light.
Don’t bury your head in the sand
When dealing with financial stress it can be easy to ignore the issue and look the other way. Although this might bring you some relief in the short-term, it will ultimately result in more stress down the line and will often make any issues harder to resolve. Whether your financial concerns are stemming from debt, inheritance and estate planning or investments, facing the issue head on is the only way to get the help needed to get back on track. It is far harder to tackle a problem alone, so be sure to speak to those around you for support. For more information on the benefits of discussing finances, take a look at our Let’s Talk About Money campaign.
Make a plan and stick to it
A lot of financial stress is due to people feeling as though they have lost control over their finances. Creating a plan is a great way to regain that control and improve your money-management skills whilst also mapping your progress towards your goal. It is important to ensure your plan is realistic and sustainable, to avoid getting demotivated and it can be easier to focus on shorter-term plans initially. Of course, a plan will only be beneficial if you stick to it; if you feel like you might be easily tempted to deviate from the plan, asking someone to help you stay on track can help.
Pay off any existing debt
One of the leading causes of financial stress is debt. Whilst easy to get into, getting out of debt can seem impossible at times and the interest rates on credit repayments (sometimes as much as 10 or 15%) will mean you will pay more the longer you leave it, costing you more money in the long run. Consider consolidating any loans or credit card debt and pay off the highest interest debt first, not only does this put you in a far better position financially, but it should also drastically reduce your stress levels. There are also numerous debt helplines that operate in order to provide additional support with stress relating to debt.
Engage in self-care
Self-care is the practice of preserving or improving your mental and physical wellbeing and can be particularly useful in times of stress or anxiety. Examples of self-care are taking a break from the internet or social media, exercising regularly, eating healthily and ensuring you take time to relax and unwind from the stress of day-to-day life. The efficacy of self-care activities will differ from person to person, so be sure to try a range of different techniques and assess the efficacy of each one. You can then start to establish a constructive self-care routine that helps you to de-stress when you feel under pressure.
Speak to a financial adviser
One of the most effective ways to resolve a financial concern and in turn reduce stress surrounding money-management is to speak to an expert. Experienced financial advisers help numerous clients with a range of financial issues and so can provide comprehensive insight and assistance on the vast majority of enquiries and matters. Knowing your finances are in safe and knowledgeable hands can offer great relief to those who experience anxiety around money and provide confidence in decisions regarding your financial future.
The above article was kindly provided by Blacktower Financial Management Group and originally posted at: https://www.blacktowerfm.com/news/how-to-reduce-and-manage-financial-stress/