Research shows money worries consistently top the list as the leading cause of stress and anxiety among adults in the UK.
40% of adults state financial angst causes them the most stress, beating problems with friends and family, health concerns and their job. Further research shows the amount of money we have to live on each month is the cause of most worry for 30% of respondents*.
It doesn’t have to be like that, my financially fettered friend. I’m here with some tips to ease your stress and give you one less thing to worry about.
Like a large elephant with a small ladder, sometimes problems can seem insurmountable. Writing a list of what’s troubling you, such as credit card debt, can put your worries in perspective and help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Try grouping the issues together and the solutions will soon become clear.
It’s easy to put off facing your problems until they’re out of control. Once you’ve established what’s causing you the most worry, set out a debt-management plan to tackle the issues head-on, they’re only going to get worse if you ignore the situation. Fix the ‘easy wins’ first – try to consolidate debt into an affordable monthly repayment, or compare the best balance transfer offers to make sure you’re getting the best deal. I can help you with this bit, over at moneyguru.com.
Go through your monthly bank statement and cut out anything you can live without. Do you really need that lapsang souchong on the way to work? How about making your own lunch rather than eating out? These small changes are a great way to save money. Treat your monthly savings as another bill and you’ll soon have a buffer to help put your mind at rest. Plus you might have a little left over for a relaxing treat.
It’s not very British to talk about money, but relax that stiff upper lip – you’ll be surprised how many people are feeling the same as you. Speak to a trusted friend or family member and they could have some helpful advice from their own experience. Or speak in confidence to an independent body such as the Citizen’s Advice service for practical advice on how to get out of debt. And if your worries start to affect your health, talk to your GP.
There’s a lot more going on in your life than balancing the books. Work and family life can take up all of your energy, leaving little time for anything else. As well as credit card consolidation, it’s a wise move to set up direct debits for bills and savings. You won’t have to remember to pay them each month, or rack up expensive penalties if you miss a payment.
Do something cheap or free that you enjoy every day. Exercise is a great way to de-stress. With all those endorphins rushing around, the world will start to seem a lot brighter. Spend time with your family and friends, take up a new hobby, read a book, learn to play the sitar, or just take some time to chill.
And finally, just be realistic. Unless you win the lottery, your money problems are not going to disappear all at once. Do a little bit at a time, get some debt help and remember you’re only human – don’t give yourself such a hard time.
Remember, I’m always around to help reduce your financial stress at moneyguru.com. My words of wisdom are like wonderful whale song.
Peace and love,