Australians feel financially stressed

Money makes the world go around but it can also leave us enormously stressed. Here’s how to get on top of financial tension.

We live in a high pressure world where stress can result from a whole variety of issues. However, a study by the Australian Psychological Society found financial pressures consistently rate as the number one cause of stress1.

It’s a problem that affects vast numbers of people.  A Financial Wellness report by AMP found financial stress impacts two in five Australian workers2. That’s 2.5 million of us, and women are almost twice as likely to be affected by financial stress as men.

It’s easy to assume earning more money would fix the problem. But according to the AMP study, those earning $50,000-$74,999 annually are more likely to feel financial stress than people earning less.

Rising living costs a key source of tension

One of the biggest sources of financial stress is rising living costs. The 2019 Mortgage Choice Financial Fitness survey found the rising cost of goods and services is the single greatest concern for 40% of Australians3.

Rather than letting financial stress take a toll on your physical wellbeing, it’s worth taking five steps that can bring peace of mind.

1. Consider the life you want to live

Simply putting pen to paper and writing down what you wish to accomplish can offer a sense of clarity. It may be buying a house, sending your children to a particular school, or living a comfortable retirement. The main point is to decide what really matters to you. 

2. Understand your living expenses

Understanding your expenses isn’t just about knowing how much money you’re spending. It also involves knowing what you are spending your money on. This helps to paint a picture of how much you will need in the future. It’s an area where I can help by factoring in rising living costs to make planning ahead easier.

3. Segregate your spending

Often it can be the shock of having several large bills turn up at once that gives people the impression life is getting more expensive. Segregating your spending for expenses you know are in the pipeline can be a way to build a safety net and avoid future bill shock. For example, if your car registration is due in 12 months, divide the cost by 52 weeks and set aside that amount in a separate bank account so you don’t feel like you suddenly need to come up with hundreds of dollars.

4. Know your level of risk

Knowing how to invest your money is vital. Investment returns can do part of the heavy lifting to help you stay ahead of rising living costs. In today’s low interest rate environment, simply leaving your savings in the bank is unlikely to give you the returns you’re seeking. Your local FinChoice can work with you to determine an appropriate investment strategy for your needs.

Contact your local FinChoice adviser today to ensure your current financial situation is stable, secure and stress-free.