Many households were stressed about their finances before the pandemic, but the past year has remained just as challenging. As a result, many Americans are still financially stressed out, which can negatively impact their mental health. If you are experiencing financial stress, know that you’re not alone.
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According to a recent study, 50% of respondents said they feel stressed when discussing their finances. This type of stress occurs due to numerous reasons, and it isn’t always because of a lack of money or resources. Financial anxiety occurs across all income levels. Research shows that financial stress and anxiety are often linked to low levels of financial literacy, problematic financial behaviors and decreased financial security.
Financial anxiety and stress can be debilitating. Consider these coping tips from the U.S. Department of Labor:
Increase your financial literacy. Some individuals are anxious because they aren’t comfortable deciphering financial information. If you feel this way, it may be helpful to seek out financial wellness programs that address money management topics and ways you can save.
Create a budget—and stick to it. A budget can make you feel more in control of your money, thus improving your mental health, stress, anxiety or frustration. This resource may also help you build up your savings over time and feel less stressed about your finances in the future.
Switch from credit to cash. It may help to remove credit cards from your wallet and delete these cards from electronic payment systems and apps. If you’re not comfortable using cash during the pandemic, stick to using your debit card and live within your means.
Address the topic head-on. Financial stress will not just go away—and doing nothing may only create more problems. It’s essential to fight the urge to avoid dealing with financial stress. In the long run, you’ll do more harm by not taking control.
If you’re concerned about your financial situation, reach out to a financial advisor. Further, if you’re feeling significant stress, talk to a mental health professional for additional guidance and support.