What is Financial Stress
Financial stress is defined as ‘a condition that is the result of financial or economic events that creates anxiety, worry, or a sense of scarcity, and is accompanied by a physiological stress response’.
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.
Impacts of Financial Stress
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.
Two million Australians are experiencing severe or high financial stress, while a further ten million are living with some level of financial worry.
Less than half of Australian adults are considered financially ‘well’, one in three workers are in serious need of financial improvement, according to the Financial Wellness Index from The Workplace Super Specialists Australia (WSSA).
Spotting the Signs and Symptoms
If you are experiencing financial stress, you may experience the following.
Uncovering the Pain Points
Financial stress can be triggered by many different types of events. You may feel stress because of:
Tips to Manage Financial Stress
Assess your Financial Situation
Take time to assess your current financial situation, particularly focusing on your triggers for financial stress.
Create a Financial Plan with Clear Goals
Find ways to reduce your expenses, such as contacting your insurance providers to find better deals. Get 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 the 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
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
Identify what Triggers your Financial Stress
Do you feel more 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. You might prepare financially for these times, ask for support at these times, or find outlets for your stress
Recognise How you Deal with 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.
Find Effective ways to Manage 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. You might choose to reach out to a friend, exercise, or journal, for example.
Financial 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.
P: 1300 364 273 | Text or Live Chat: 0401 337 711 | W: acaciaconnection.com