Money is one of the most common sources of anxiety, and the majority of us know what it’s like to feel that weight on our shoulders. The past few months have been tumultuous enough to turn small concerns into pressing issues for a lot of people who, until now, felt relatively stable month-to-month.
The good news is money stress doesn’t have to dominate your thoughts. Here are five easily practicable tips to shrinking that fretful voice in your head.
1. Remind yourself that nothing can be solved immediately…
If you want to get your body in shape, you start exercising regularly and, over time, start to see results. If you want to turn a wasteland into an oasis, you start planting and watering, weeding and pruning and, eventually, things start to bloom. The exact same thing goes for implementing and working toward any financial goal, whether you want to save for retirement, start making some additional money through investments, or just shore up your rainy-day fund.
Cancelling the odd subscription service or identifying expenses you can easily cut out needn’t take too much of your time, but transforming the ways in which you treat, save, and invest your money takes more time to plan and more time before you start seeing big results. You’ll want to ensure you’re getting tailored advice from an independent financial advisor rather than generic advice from an online guide. Taking the right approach is more important than taking the quickest approach.
2. …So don’t try to solve the problem at 10pm
…Or, for that matter, in the middle of an otherwise peaceful Sunday afternoon, particularly if you’re prone to the ‘snowball effect’ of negative thinking. When we’re relaxing – or trying to relax, anyway – it’s a lot easier for those big worries to take hold to such an extent that we can’t focus on anything else and feel compelled to get the laptop out, start poring over bank statements, and devising spartan budgets that don’t turn out to be at all realistic.
Like most things, your finances can’t be whipped into shape when you’re feeling stressed, tired, and don’t have anyone to turn to for guidance.
3. Think about protecting your income
This is one of the areas we specialise in at Perennial Wealth – ensuring that our clients have the proper protection and insurance in place to secure their future and combat any out-of-the-blue scenarios that could easily derail their ability to save, pay their bills on time, and keep their family stable.
Life insurance policies, for instance, mean that we can ensure a financial safety net for our loved ones – particularly any dependents. They tackle the very worst situation any household can find themselves in and, for that reason alone, are well worth considering. As with any financial product on the market, there are a lot of different policies to choose from. Make sure any advice you receive is independent, to ensure any policy serves your family’s best interests.
4. Avoid debt
There are so many different types of debt we can get ourselves into, and many of them don’t come with red flashing lights and alarm bells signalling that, ‘This is a big financial burden’. Most of us know to avoid the most daunting types of debt, but a large portion of the UK population is gradually increasing the amount of debt on their shoulders and risking entering into the red zone without even noticing.
As of 2023, 36% of UK adults have used buy-now-pay-later as an alternative to making a single upfront payment. These schemes are offered on everything from cars and holidays to smaller purchases from high street chains and, while the odd BNPL or finance agreement (say, on the family car) isn’t the end of the world, allowing these debts to accrue over months or years could easily start to prey on your peace of mind.
Paying off debt and avoiding new debt is more than possible with the right approach.
5. Communicate openly with your partner
Money worries are all too easily internalised. We tend to feel embarrassed about admitting to having them in the first place, let alone asking our partners to make any lifestyle changes as we try to work our finances into a new mould.
Open communication about money is incredibly important. It’s the only way to ensure that you’re working toward the same goals and clear on what it will take to get there. As the old adage goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. The biggest step is sharing your concerns with your financial advisor, but the most pivotal moment will come when you and your partner get into the same rhythm together.