What are the signs and how can you cope with this type of stress?
The emotional aspects of financial management can be difficult for almost anyone but tend to be particularly problematic for those who have considerable debt and limited income. Millennials are one such group. Nearly 80 per cent of them have difficulty planning for their financial obligations, and 30 per cent report financial anxiety so severe that it impacts their ability to work.
CAUSES OF FINANCIAL ANXIETY
A large portion of millennials came of age during the financial crisis of the late 2000s and faced a difficult job market in addition to substantial student debt. Understandably, these circumstances made an impact on the relationship millennials have with their finances.
Furthermore, many haven’t saved enough (or at all) for retirement. This may largely be due to the rise of the gig economy. However, the scarcity of full-time jobs is also problematic, as it means that there’s limited access to employer-backed retirement programs.
IMPACT OF FINANCIAL ANXIETY
The resulting lack of financial stability combined with a considerable debt burden means that many millennials are in a precarious situation. This naturally leads to substantial stress, and in many cases, it can manifest as physical symptoms and avoidance behaviours, including but not limited to:
Feeling trapped by your finances
Obsessive, repetitive thoughts
Spending beyond your means
Overthinking small expenditures
Avoiding your financial statements
Unfortunately, if financial stresses manifest in this manner, it may interfere with the ability to work and lead to incurring further financial burdens.
TRY OUT THESE COPING STRATEGIES
Not everyone’s financial problems are identical and financial anxiety can be triggered in different ways. However, here are some strategies that may help alleviate some pressure:
Make payments automatic. This will ensure you never miss one and could help you plan your spending better.
Create a budget. This is another way to make sure you have enough money to cover monthly expenses. It’s also a great way to find out where your money goes.
Develop better habits. Pack your lunches, bring your own coffee and cut down on unnecessary spending. Read our blog for more tips!
Begin credit counselling. If you’ve begun to notice your spending habits are having a negative impact on your life then credit counselling may be the right solution for you. Our credit counselors will help you establish a budget, analyze potential lifestyle alternatives to help curb the impact of your spending, help you set realistic short-term and long-term financial goals, and, if necessary, prepare informal arrangements with your creditors.
Taking concrete measures that provide tangible results is an effective way of mitigating anxious feelings. However, the most important thing to do is to reach out and ask for help.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR ANXIETY & BEGIN MANAGING YOUR DEBT WITH D. & A. MACLEOD!
If you feel like you’re having trouble managing your financial obligations due to student debt or other types of unpaid balances, don’t hesitate to get help. At D. & A. MacLeod Company Ltd., our experienced debt counsellors can clarify your situation and options so you can take concrete steps toward financial independence. Contact us today at a location closest to you to set up a free consultation.