Australians distressed and acting aggressively to others

Australians distressed and acting aggressively to others.

These are the findings from the latest Financial Mindfulness Financial Stress Index (FSI) report which has tracked financial stress in detail over the last 12 months and captured the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.

An estimated 2.29 million Australians are experiencing levels of financial stress that reduce their wellbeing and capacity to function and it is dragging on the Australian economy.

The lost productivity costs Australian business an estimated $32.14 billion per annum. Key findings from the Financial Mindfulness FSI report during COVID-19* include:

      • 8.76x increase in people always acting “aggressively towards others because of my financial position”
      • There has been an 8.25x increase in those Distressed during COVID19 times from pre COVID-19
      • A 290% increase for always feeling isolated
      • 151% increase in those always finding it hard to ‘wind down’
      • Worry, feelings of tension and agitation increased
      • Increases in people who always or sometimes “experienced conflict with a loved one about money matters”.

The other key findings from the Financial Mindfulness FSI Report were:

      • A large proportion feel worried (89%), overwhelmed (79%), and downhearted (82%) about their financial situation
      • 69% of people say financial stress has negatively impacted their relationships
      • 64% experienced conflict with loved ones
      • 50% could not meet all of their weekly expenses
      • 77% of people are distracted because of financial concerns
      • 62% of people are having difficulty sleeping
      • 50% of people ate, drank, smoked more due to their financial situation.

“The Financial Stress Index (FSI) is a comprehensive measure of the financial factors and biopsychosocial consequences of financial stress developed by Financial Mindfulness,” says Dr Nicola Gates, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist at Financial Mindfulness.

“A worrying result has been the significant escalation of people always acting aggressively towards others and the negative impact on relationships in general.”

The company’s Founder and CEO, Andrew Fleming says “Financial stress was a significant problem before the COVID-19 pandemic, but we now can see the increased damage it is having on individuals and work productivity.”

“It is staggering to see how much financial stress is impacting mental and physical health, relationships and work.”

“We developed the Financial Stress Index (FSI) to understand financial stress at a granular level in order to build a solution. Our solution is the Financial Mindfulness App, a personalised program which reduces financial stress,” Fleming says.

The Financial Mindfulness FSI is a leading indicator on financial stress and will be reported every six months to measure changes in Australians’ financial stress levels.

*Data compares user responses in the periods August 2019 to February 2020, with March to August 2020.

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