10 tips for coping with financial stress

by BabyYumYum
Are you feeling overwhelmed by money worries? Whatever your circumstances, you can find ways to get through these tough economic times, ease your stress and anxiety, and take charge of your finances.
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Are you feeling overwhelmed by money worries? Whatever your circumstances, you can find ways to get through these tough economic times, ease your stress and anxiety, and take charge of your finances. Written by BabyYumYum.

If you’re finding yourself feeling overwhelmed by financial worries and stress, you are not alone. Financial stress has become a reality for many households in South Africa. The recently published annual Sanlam Benchmark report found that 63% of South Africans were anxious about their finances, with 87% indicating they felt financial stress, while 58% said it was affecting their physical and/or mental well-being.

Financial problems can take a huge toll on your mental and physical health, your relationships, and your overall quality of life. They can adversely impact your sleep, self-esteem, and energy levels.

It can make you feel angry, alone, depressed, ashamed, fearful and anxious. It may also lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking, overeating, abusing drugs, or gambling.  In the worst scenarios, financial stress can even result in suicidal thoughts or actions. Dealing with the stress can feel like a daunting task.

Top tips for financial stress: 

Abbott Calmettes

  1. Clarify where the money stress is coming from. Identify the main sources of your stress. They may include high levels of debt; having no emergency fund; not being able to pay your bills on time or at all; you lost your job or are afraid you will; you have a big expense coming up etc. Once you understand the main issues surrounding your stress, you can brainstorm ways to tackle those things.
  2. Set aside time a few times a year to review, revise and reflect on the above. Consciously dealing with your biggest money stressors will result in more positive progress than avoidance or sweeping it under the carpet.
  3. Make a spending plan. Creating a budget can reduce your stress. Figure out your net income. Track your spending to find out where exactly your money is going. Which are necessary and which are luxuries that you can perhaps do without? Making sure to live within your means is crucial to managing your money like an adult and keeping financial stress at bay.
  4. Budget according to your values. It must mirror what matters to you most so you can cut back on items that are not as important to you. Then, you can make different and better choices about where your money goes.
  5. Set up a system. Know when you have money coming in and when bills are due. This will help you keep track of your spending; keep you aligned with your money goals and reduce your stress levels.
  6. Start an emergency fund. You need this for example when your car breaks down unexpectedly, your laptop crashes or if you get ill and need medical assistance. Start small and build as your finances improve. Consider keeping the money in a high-yield fund.
  7. Increase your income. Consider asking for a raise, picking up extra shifts, finding a new job or taking on a side hustle.
  8. Open the lines of communication. Ensure that you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to saving and spending and share your financial goals with each other. Talking about money can lead to high emotions and be uncomfortable but not doing it will create even more stress.
  9. Get professional advice. You do not have to do this alone. Someone who is trained to guide you in financial matters can help by being objective and offering relevant and individualised guidance for your situation.
  10. Take supplements to manage your stress, such as Calmettes and other relaxing remedies to soothe your nerves and reduce your anxiety.

Abbott Calmettes

No matter how hopeless your situation seems, by tackling your money problems head on, you can find a way to take action, ease your stress levels, and regain control of your finances—and your life.

Ref: Calmettes PI

NEXT READ: How to self-regulate and be a better parent

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