Financial stress has crept into many of our lives. Here’s how to identify and remedy stress caused by fiscal angst.
The term “financial stress” has crept into the Australian vocabulary. It’s not surprising with the ever increasing cost of living, led by rising house prices, and mostly stagnant wages.
According to comparison site Mozo, almost half of us are using our credit card to buy groceries and according to the ABC, 20% of us don’t have access to $500 in case of emergency.
On top of this, a recent study conducted by our very own Employment Hero revealed that a whopping 52% of the working population struggles to pay their bills on time. As a result, 2.5 million workers have taken out a payday loan. 85% of those who have taken it out a payday loan find it harder to meet their financial demands, beginning a cycle of debt.
In light of this, we must all ask ourselves. Am I suffering from financial stress? Am I at risk of being financially vulnerable at any point in the future?
What is financial stress?
Think about the last time you felt worried about money. That’s financial stress. It’s any time that you feel stress – feeling anxious, overwhelmed or worried – because of your financial situation. According to a study in 2017 by Core Data and fintech startup, Financial Mindfulness, a whooping one third of all Australians are in significant financial stress.
How does financial stress impact me?
Financial stress can affect you like any other type of stress with symptoms including insomnia, depression, heart problems, weight gain or loss and high blood pressure. But people feeling financial stress can also exhibit unhealthy coping behaviours (like drinking too much) or being irritable and angry towards loved ones.
How can I deal with financial stress?
Here are our top tips for dealing with financial stress.
1. Learn about finance
Start with the basics. Discover the key pillars to financial health and implement them slowly (you don’t want to add to your stress). Life Hero is a great place to start so you’re already on the right track.
2. Create a budget
Understand how much money you make and how much you spend. It sounds simple because it is, and yet many people have yet to take this first step! We’ve got some handy tips on how you can start to make a budget and then stick to it.
3. Understand your debt cycle
While you’re making your budget take the time to see what got you into debt in the first place so you can avoid it in future. Do you use your credit card too frivolously? Is UberEats costing you more than you thought? Small things can add up.
4. Explore physical fitness options
Exercise is a great way to deal with stress. If you are new to working out, read these tips by a personal trainer about how you can slowly start to introduce exercise into your routine. Financial stress is another type of stress so anything that helps you manage your regular stress (breathing exercises, meditation, exercise) will be helpful.
5. Have a backup plan in place for emergency funds
Did you know that people who get paid more frequently are better off? Chances are you may have had an inkling since Employment Hero’s research showed a huge majority of Australian workers preferred weekly or fortnightly pay. You might not be able to change your payday but if you need access to extra money for an emergency, know where you can get it from and how much it will cost you so you can incorporate it into your budget. Income insurance is another option to consider.
Connect with one of our financial experts to learn how you can get the most out of your money
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