Money is an important part of our lives that gives us the means to meet our needs and our wants. Money and stress, however, often go hand in hand, and the pressure to make money, pay bills, and control finances can cause a lot of anxiety.
According to the results of the FP Canada’s 2023 Financial Stress Index, money is still the biggest source of stress for 40% of people. This is more than health (23%), relationships (17%), and work (16%). The results also show that financial stress has affected more than half of Canada’s population, with over one-third of Canadians having mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression, because of it.
Understanding Financial Stress
Financial stress is the emotional, mental, and physical strain we might feel because of our money situation. It happens when you can’t meet your financial responsibilities, take care of your debt, or reach your financial goals.
Money problems can come from many different directions and affect people from all walks of life. The effects of financial stress are felt by people of all ages, from college students struggling with student loans to middle-aged adults with homes and retirement savings.
What can cause financial stress
Unemployment, low income, unmanageable debt, depleted savings, are just a few of the stressors that can keep us up at night. Not being able to cover our basic needs like housing and food can cause a lot of anxiety. It’s difficult to plan for the long run when you are living paycheque to paycheque.
Having a lot of debt, especially high-interest consumer debt, can make it difficult to make your monthly payments and make you feel like you’re stuck in a loop of borrowing. Uncertainty about the future, like worries about job security, retirement savings, rising interest rates, inflation, or sudden financial problems, can also add to financial stress.
Unexpected financial situations can put a lot of pressure on a budget that is already tight. Whether it’s an unexpected car fix or medical bill, these costs can throw our finances out of whack. The worry of not having enough money to deal with unplanned events can lead to feelings of anxiety.
Financial stress can be made worse by the constant pressure to keep up a certain level of living, which comes from comparing yourself to others. The fear of falling behind can lead to bad spending habits and a cycle of stress that never ends.
Worrying about money may lead to health issues
Stressing about money can also have long term health effects – anxiety, sadness, insomnia, and other problems can affect your mental and physical health.
Credit card debt, school loans, mortgages, or medical bills that keep getting bigger can affect your mental health and also make it hard to sleep without worry. The weight of paying back a loan can feel like suffocation, which can lead to a feeling of helplessness and dread.
Financial stress can also put a strain on our relationships, cause fights within families, and make us feel less happy with our lives as a whole.
It’s a well known fact that financial stress can be detrimental to our health. This podcast explores the connection.
5 Strategies to Stress Less About Money
There are a number of things you can do to lessen the effects of financial stress. These tips can help you feel like you have more control over your money and lessen the negative effects that financial stress has on your health. Here are a few useful strategies:
- Budgeting: If you want to manage your money well, you need to make a sensible budget. It involves keeping track of income and spending to figure out where money is going and where spending can be cut. By making a budget, you can decide which costs are most important, avoid spending money you don’t need to, and put money toward savings and paying off debt.
- Debt management: Managing and getting rid of debt can be easier if you make a plan. This could mean deciding which debts to pay off first, talking with creditors for lower interest rates or different payment plans, and looking into options for consolidating debt. Licensed insolvency Trustees (LITs) can help you figure out how to deal with your debts in the best way possible. LITs offer free consultations to review your options.
- Increase income: Looking for ways to make more money can help you stay financially stable and reduce worry. This can mean getting more part-time work, working as a freelancer, or starting a small business. Finding skills that people are willing to pay for and using them to make extra money can help when money is tight.
- Communicate and ask for help: Talking about money worries with trusted family members, friends, or support groups can help you feel better and give you useful tips. Sharing stories and learning from others who have dealt with similar problems can be comforting and give you new ideas on how to deal with financial stress.
- Self-care: Taking care of your physical and mental health is an important way to deal with money and stress. Getting rid of stress through things like exercise, meditation, or sports can help you unwind and keep a positive attitude. Self-care is important, and getting professional help when you need it can help your overall general health.
Remember that getting rid of financial stress is a process that takes time and effort. If you use these tips regularly, you can get back in charge of your finances and improve your financial health.
Reach Out For Help
If you are struggling to keep your head above water, and feeling stressed about your finances, reach out to a Licensed Insolvency Trustees at Allan Marshall & Associates at 1-888-371-8900 or complete our contact form online.
Your first consultation with one of our debt experts is completely free. We will assess your unique financial situation and help you find the right debt relief option for you. You don’t have to go through this alone, we can help.