Financial stress is widespread
Money worries are common. They existed before COVID-19 and now with changes in our employment and society, financial stress has become more widespread.
The Australian Psychological Society reports that financial stress is one of the major causes of stress in adults, and recently published research on the Financial Stress Index (FSI) from Financial Mindfulness, indicates an escalation of financial stress symptoms due to COVID-19 including negative impacts on relationships.
Financial stress is personal and impacts all areas of our lives. It is something we experience regarding our financial situation today or our financial future. It also involves our thoughts about money and finances and what we do in terms of spending and saving, and how we manage our finances. Financial stress can arise during short term specific financial demands such as change in employment, or from a chronic and long-term financial concern, such as increasing debt with interest repayments or difficulty repaying a home mortgage.
The problem with financial stress is that it does not just impact our finances, it can have a significant effect on our wellbeing including our physical and mental health along with our relationships, work, behaviour and potentially our environment.
Some signs that financial stress is affecting your health, work and relationships include arguing with the people closest to you about money, becoming aggressive to others, difficulty sleeping, feeling downhearted, overwhelmed, angry or fearful, mood swings, tiredness, loss of appetite, and withdrawing from others.
While these reactions affect your overall wellbeing, if they continue for a prolonged period of time, they could turn into serious health issues. The important thing is to seek appropriate help.
People from all walks of life may experience problems with their finances at some stage in their lives. It is not something to feel embarrassed or ashamed about, especially as those feelings can stop people from getting the assistance they need.
Financial mindfulness means being aware and paying attention to your finances, and that may mean seeking help. The help required will vary from individuals. It may be practical financial support, or learning budgeting skills, or seeking assistance to manage the stress of money worries.
The first step to being financially aware is to determine how stressed you are by your finances. Our unique Financial Stress Index (FSI) designed by a team of Neuropsychologists and financial experts works out your financial stress levels and potential symptoms. You can start this process by downloading our app and completely your FSI.