According to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) annual Stress in America report, nearly 90 percent of Americans said that their financial stress level “has either remained the same or gotten worse” with time. Moreover, due to financial hardships about “12 percent of respondents said they had skipped a doctor’s visit.”
As you can see, money still continues as one of the top stressors for most individuals in the country.
You cannot enjoy your life to the fullest when you have financial headaches every day. It becomes difficult to think of something else. So, if you want to live a better life, you have to keep your financial stress in check.
What are the major financial stressors?
Financial stress is a pandemic, causing serious financial health problems among people worldwide. Many individuals are becoming victims on the hands of financial stress. The reasons are high debt levels, unstable income, little savings, huge student loans, and so on.
Let’s explore the causes of financial stress in details:
1. Rising debt levels.
Buying things without having money isn’t a big deal today; The credit cards have made it possible. The problem is not paying balances on time and delaying the payment, which in turn increases the debt level.
It becomes difficult to deal with huge debts, causing anxiety among people. Nearly 21 percent of people (including both sexes) from Alaska to Wyoming has chosen “paying off debt” as their “chief financial stressor.” Hence, paying off debts have become a major contributor to financial stress.
2. No or low savings.
People want to get rid off debts and have a better lifestyle. By doing so, they often ignore the importance of savings. They tend to forget that both paying off debts and savings are crucial for their future financial well-being. As a result, the savings rate is declining steadily day-by-day causing more stress among them.
3. High student loan debt.
Student debt level in the country has crossed into the billions, and is still rising. Getting a good education doesn’t mean getting a dream job. Careers that don’t match education levels are the reason behind high student debt level. Thus, paying for education has become one of the major causes of a high level of financial anxiety among people.
4. Wanting a “better” lifestyle.
To keep up with the Joneses, individuals often empty their pockets causing financial worries later. Wanting a better lifestyle is not a crime, but spending beyond your means can damage your financial health.
However, lack of money also prevents you from living a better lifestyle. As per the survey by American Psychological Association, 32 percent of respondents said that “finances prevented them from living a healthy lifestyle.”
What are the remedies to overcome financial stress?
Financial anxiety can be cured with a little effort. All you need is to have faith in yourself and believe that you can do it. Are your finances making you mad? If so, then maybe you’ve to try out things differently.
Check out how you can fight financial stress:
1. Stay positive.
A positive attitude toward life and finances will change the whole situation. Obviously, it won’t pay your bills, but it’ll give you the strength to fight your fears. It’ll help you to recognize your financial strength and weaknesses. So, before doing anything, try to be positive and focus on positive things. It’ll cure half of your financial stress.
2. Find out the underlying problem.
First, discover the reason behind your financial stress such as unemployment, lower income, divorce, retirement, an addiction, accident, unexpected illness, and so on. Remember, identifying the underlying problem that keeps you from reaching your financial goals will help you know where to start with your financial plan.
3. Visit an advisor.
An advisor is the only answer when you’re facing severe financial health issues. If you’re having a problem with setting your financial goals, visit a financial advisor immediately. He/she will solve all your problems regarding savings, retirement, investments, etc.
4. Save more and spend less.
This is the universal rule to live stress free. Do you want to make your finances happy? If so, then try to spend within your means and save as much as you can. Save both for your retirement and emergency because both can put your finances under stress if not taken care of properly.
5. Set financial priorities.
Think of how you can put your finances back on track. Try to prioritize your finances from this moment on. What are you major goals for the next year? Five years? 10 years? It takes more than this, but this is a good place to start.
6. Plan a budget.
Budgeting helps to keep your finances in check. You’ve heard this for millions of times now, right? Though it’s the same old thing, but it’s TRUE! You cannot ignore the importance of budgeting. Don’t get scared on hearing the term “budget.” It’s the best medicine to curb your financial anxiety if you can plan it smartly. So, plan a budget according to your income and cheer up your finances once again.
7. Educate yourself,
Keeping yourself updated with the latest financial facts will help you in many ways. For instance, if you want to invest your money in stocks, educate yourself about the same so that you don’t stay confused and worried. Finances will no longer be a stressful mystery if you know about them.
A piece of advice: Confidence is the key to deal with financial stress. The most stressful situation can be overcome by staying confident and calm. So, try to stay confident and calm.