Financial stress can feel all-consuming, and could have an impact on both your health and your wealth. Read 5 tips to overcome it in Stress Awareness Month.
No matter how much wealth you have accumulated, nobody is immune to financial stress.
While some individuals in the UK have more immediate material concerns than others, during the cost of living crisis, you could be seeing many aspects of your life become more expensive at once. These might include:
- Mortgage repayments
- Energy bills
- Education fees for your children or grandchildren
- Everyday costs like food and fuel
- Holidays and travel.
April 2023 is Stress Awareness Month. If you have succumbed to financial stress in the past year, it could be handy to take stock of your situation this month, and pay some attention to the things causing you anguish.
If you need somewhere to start, here are five life-changing tips for managing financial stress.
1. Make a list of immediate priorities to focus on
When you sit down to organise your finances in an attempt to reduce your stress, you might feel immediately overwhelmed. Between your monthly outgoings, your annual one-off expenditure, and your long-term investment portfolio (including your pension), you may think: “where do I even begin?”
One helpful tactic that can alleviate some of the pressure you feel is to make a list of immediate priorities.
Perhaps you know you need to renew certain protection policies before the cover lapses, or your fixed mortgage term is coming to an end and needs some attention paying to it.
Whatever your list looks like, separating the immediate priorities from your overall financial plan can help you focus on one thing at a time, and perhaps reduce your stress in the meantime.
2. Step out of your “finance brain” and think about what you want from life
If your finances are causing more harm than good to your mental health at the moment, it could be wise to step out of your “finance brain” and focus on your life.
Ask yourself: “what would I most like to do with my life, but haven’t done so far?”
The answer will be personal to you, but some goals our clients often name are:
- Retiring at as early an age as possible
- Giving opportunities to the next generation, such as paying education fees or buying their first home
- Spending more time with loved ones (and less time at work)
- Buying a holiday home in the UK or abroad.
Establishing the dreams you hold most dear can have ample financial benefits as well as emotional ones.
Indeed, in a study published by the BBC, participants were presented with two options: receive a smaller reward now, or a larger reward later.
Those who had a stronger “connection to their future self” – a sense of what they want to accomplish and the kind of person they want to become – were more likely to accept delayed gratification. And, sure enough, those same participants had already saved more money in their personal lives than those without an idea of their future goals.
So, if you’re stressed by your financial situation, remember why your finances matter at all: to help you create the life you want. This may motivate you to be calmer and more decisive about your money moving forward.
3. Remind yourself that these turbulent times are not forever
Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, the UK has experienced a series of challenges that, right now, may feel like they’ll never end.
The financial effects of the pandemic when coupled with the cost of living crisis are evident: in the 2023 Champion Health Workplace Health Report, 37% of those surveyed cited financial stress as the number one stressor outside of work. What’s more, 1 in 5 said financial stress has an impact on their productivity.
If you feel like you’re treading water in the UK’s financial landscape, remember: the cost of living crisis is unlikely to prevail much longer.
UK inflation is at a 40-year high, and is predicted to contract in the coming months and years. We are living in unusual times, and they are not likely to last forever.
4. Set aside time to properly review your financial circumstances
It is no secret that if we allow a situation to build up without paying it the attention it deserves, the pressure that mounts can become overwhelmingly stressful.
If you are aware there are aspects of your financial plan that need specific focus right now – updating your will or writing funds into trust for the next generation, perhaps – ignoring them won’t help your stress levels.
Sometimes, the simplest advice is the most helpful. So, here’s a reminder: it is almost impossible to sift through all your financial documents and review your overall circumstances in a rush.
Although life can feel too busy at times, sitting down to comb through the relevant financial documents and make the necessary changes and adjustments can massively reduce your financial stress.
5. Work with a financial planner to alleviate the pressure on your shoulders
According to 2021 research by the Money and Pensions Service, as many as 24 million adults don’t feel confident managing their money. Fast forward to 2023 and the cost of living crisis could have pushed this number even higher.
Indeed, even if you consider yourself financially savvy, managing the moving parts of your financial plan on a day-to-day basis could be a huge job if undertaken alone – and may only serve to increase your financial stress.
Working with a Kellands financial planner could have countless stress-busting benefits, including:
- Knowing an expert has their eye on your financial plan, including your investments, at all times
- Having a confidant who can answer your questions, honour your goals, and listen to your worries
- Improving your financial literacy and confidence through a long-term relationship with a professional
- Gaining peace of mind in knowing that you’re on track to meet your long-term goals.
There is no shame in being overwhelmed by financial stress. If you need guidance, we can help.
Get in touch
Need help reducing your financial stress this Stress Awareness Month? Contact us today. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 0161 929 8838.
The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.