Managing Financial Stress Effectively

Managing Financial Stress Effectively

As another End of Financial Year rolls around, set yourself up for success with these helpful tips on reducing money worries.

Do you find yourself lying awake at night worrying about how to make ends meet?

Whether you are worried about your retirement, debts, or your children’s future, financial stress is a particularly complex and destructive form of stress that can significantly reduce levels of well-being and health. 

Costing the Australian government $42 billion per year, financial stress has been linked to reduced employee performance, increased sick days, as well as increased risk in developing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and substance abuse disorders.

Furthermore, financial stress has also been linked to an increased risk of obesity, heart diseases, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and chronic pain. 
 

What is financial stress?

Financial stress is defined as “a condition that is the result of financial and/or economic events that creates anxiety, worry, or a sense of scarcity, and is accompanied by a physiological stress response”. 

Spotting the Signs and Symptoms

If you are experiencing financial stress you may experience:

  • Persistent thoughts or worries about your finances
  • Low motivation, low energy and hopelessness
  • Feelings of loss, anger, confusion and sorrow
  • Disconnection from others and their surroundings
  • Erratic sleep patterns or difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating, focusing or feeling present
  • Substance dependency e.g. alcohol abuse
  • Over- or under-eating
  • Feelings of overwhelming stress and panic
  • Physical symptoms such as tension, nausea, pain, gastrointestinal problems

Uncovering the Pain Points

These stress responses can be triggered by events such as:
  • High levels of debt and insufficient funds to pay off the debt
  • Unexpected loss of income or assets
  • Increases in financial responsibilities, such as costs associated with caring for a new child or sick family member
  • Differences in spending habits or values between people who share income
  • Compulsive spending or gambling
  • Bankruptcy
  • Saving for retirement
  • Single parenthood

If you feel you are currently experiencing financial stress, you are not alone…

Recent research has found that over 2.86 million Australian employees are struggling with financial stress, over 25% of the Australian workforce. 

Financial stress is particularly exacerbated during the end of year financial period.

Top Tips to Manage Financial Stress

  1. Assess your financial situation and make a plan 
    • Take time to assess your current financial situation, particularly focusing on your triggers for financial stress. 
    • Create a financial plan with clear financial goals          
      • Finding ways to reduce your expenses such as contacting your insurance providers to find better deals
      • Getting on top of your debt by contacting your bank or credit card provider to set up an affordable payment plan
      • Use apps and online tools to help track progress. 
    • Review this plan regularly 
      • Set time aside to review your financial situation and how the plan is working 
      • Be willing to change the plan dependent on needs
      • Planning and regular check-ups has been found to improve accountability and reduce financial stress
  2. Make one financial decision at a time 
    • Research has found that spacing out financial decisions improves individual’s willpower and reduces associated levels of financial stress
  3. Identify what triggers your financial stress 
    • Do you feel stressed around pay day, tax time, or christmas?
    • Identify when you feel more stressed about money so that you are able to plan ways to manage this financial stress during these times
      • E.g. prepare financially for these times, ask for support at these times or find outlets for your stress
  4. Recognize how you try to manage financial stress
    • Do you want to bury your sand the moment money is mentioned? Or maybe you try to watch every penny when your stressed about money which leaves you feeling suffocated and trapped? 
    • However you currently deal with financial stress, acknowledging this to yourself is a crucial step as you can identify what strategies are helpful or not helpful. 
  5. Find effective ways to manage your financial stress
    • Once you notice these stress reactions, try to think how you might be able to manage your stress in effective ways for yourself
    • For example
      • Reaching out to a friend
      • Exercising
      • Seeking counselling
      • Journaling 
      • Going for a walk 
  6. Seek support
    • Financial counselling and support is a free service offered through your Employee Assistance Program which can give you the confidence and help needed to reduce your levels of financial stress. 
    • If you would like further information or support regarding helping manage your financial stress, please call Acacia Connection. 

If you or someone close to you needs support, contact Acacia Connection for an appointment.

P: 1300 364 273 | Text or Live Chat: 0401 337 711 | W: acaciaconnection.com

BUDGETING & FINANCE WORKSHOPS

The Workshop Lab is part the of the Acacia Connection Group and delivers specialised training and development within your workplace. 

Is financial pressure causing your employees some stress? If so, have a look at the Budgeting & Finance Workshop which is specifically designed for employees. This popular workshop is delivered by fully qualified and experienced finance presenters and provides practical tips and strategies for better money management. Duration: 1 – 4 hour options. 

Click here to email us for more information.

WHATS NEW?

The Workshop Lab is excited to announce the introduction of neuroscience-based coaching which has been designed specifically to support employees within fast-paced organisations. 

Based on neuroscience and brain-friendly practices, employees can now work individually with a coach to set new  goals and formulate effective plans to support new habit formation. 

Click here to ask us for more information on Coaching Packages.