The vast majority of us are, to a certain extent, stressed out about money on a regular basis. How do we balance the household budget, can I afford to pay the mortgage and what do I do now I have lost my job. You will find stress builds up the more you ignore your financial worries.
If you are stressed about money, you are more likely to make rash decisions which can put you in further trouble. Speak to Citizens Advice for essential money support, or StepChange Debt Charity if you have problem debts.
Those who have never experienced serious financial problems have no idea of the mental and physical toll this can have. We have seen families break up, relationships ended, and childhood friendships fall by the wayside.
Many people who stress about money all the time will keep things in and not discuss their issues with anybody. This can put you in a very dark and very lonely place.
Continue reading to get all the details about how you can identify the stress and how you can manage it.
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The fact you are actually reading this article; we could probably put that down as stage one of the recovery process. You are likely one of many people looking to improve their finances, reduce their financial stress and begin to enjoy life a little more. It is also useful to read the words of people who have an understanding of the stress associated with money problems and that all-important first stage.
You can only address an issue if you actually recognise that there is an issue - sounds bizarre but think about it. Burying your head in the sand and hoping that everything goes away will just not cut the mustard in this day and age.
Many people talk of the British “stiff upper lip” which may exude an air of confidence, but what is going on under the surface? It is only natural to feel a degree of anxiety and even feel scared when under financial pressure.
In many ways, it is unnatural not to be concerned about your financial affairs if the pressure is beginning to build. So, use this anxiety and feelings of concern to address your issues head-on and do something about them. In many ways, these feelings of anxiety and deep-rooted concerns are linked to a loss of control.
It, therefore, stands to reason; if you regain control by reorganising your refinances, you will feel a whole lot better.
A troubled shared is a trouble halved as they say. However, making that first step to tell your partner that you have financial troubles, and you need their help, is not easy. Many see this as show weakness, but in reality, it is a show of strength because you are tackling your problems head-on and seeking a degree of support from loved ones.
You will be very surprised at the level of support your partner, family and friends and even work colleagues will offer once they know you are struggling. You do have friends!
As soon as you can foresee any level of money problems in the future, that is the time to sit down with your partner/family and discuss budget cuts. When the UK government overspends, they have to make cutbacks, and as we know with austerity, these are often very unpopular decisions.
So, if you can see short-term cash flow issues emerging, then you should reduce any luxury expenditure. Your living expenses, loan payments and rental payments come first and then literally see what you have left. Do you really need that holiday at the end of the year? Could you downsize your vehicle?
While many people are happy to part-fund their lifestyle through debt, surely the downsizing of a vehicle or missing one overseas holiday is not the end of the world. If you are struggling to repay your current debts, then it makes absolutely no sense to ramp up additional debts.
You will often notice in the small print of mortgages and personal loans that the bank/loan company expects you to inform them of any significant change in your financial situation. In reality, the vast majority of people will ignore this small print until it is too late, and they are in over their heads.
So, if you foresee any short-term difficulties with cash flow your bank may agree to, for example, a short-term payment holiday or even extend the term of your finance to assist with your short term cash flow. You would obviously need to balance the extended period against the additional interest charges. However, if this brings payments down to a more affordable level, then it will help get your finances back on track and reduce your stress.
No financial institution would appreciate being the last to know of your financial woes. They would rather you continued to repay your debts, even if it was under different terms and conditions, rather than write-off another bad debt.
When you consider the different forms of debt available in the UK, we can safely assume that many people have both overdrafts and a number of credit cards – often on high-interest rates. Many will be making minimum monthly repayments and see little in the way of short term reductions in their overall level of debt.
Therefore, it may be an idea to consider a debt consolidation loan which would be used to repay all of your current debts and convert them into one manageable loan. However, there would be one condition – ditch the high-interest credit card!
If for example, you had four different types of debt and your minimum monthly payment for each was £50, then you are repaying £200 a month. Now let’s assume that you are able to consolidate these debts into one debt consolidation loan, on a lower rate of interest and longer-term, you might be able to reduce your monthly payments to £100 a month.
Immediately, your short-term cash flow is improved, stress is lifted from your life, and you can begin to look forward again as opposed to constantly looking over your shoulder. There is also nothing stopping you from making additional loan repayments as and when possible.
If your credit rating is deteriorating, then it is time to take action. This may involve something as simple as a debt consolidation loan, a reorganisation of your budget or you may require specific debt management advice.
Many people see solutions such as IVAs and even bankruptcy as the end of the world. In reality, these are actually the beginning of your new world, a world in which you aren’t looking over your shoulder, dreading each phone call and knock at the door.
You will be offered a degree of protection from your creditors, allowing you to reorganise your finances, take a breath and rebuild your confidence.
If you are constantly thinking of your deteriorating financial position, the stress created can impact your mental and physical wellbeing. While not simply a case of “losing control” it is very important that you take back control of your finances. Face your problems head-on, look for solutions, take advice and most importantly, do not bury your head in the sand - this is not going away!
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s debt release brokers. They have already helped thousands of people reduce and remove a high percentage of debt, and if you are struggling with debt, they can do the same for you.
Choosing an independent adviser means they won’t recommend a scheme unless they are sure it is in your best interests. Their advice is also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
If you would like to speak to one of these brokers, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.
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