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Dealing with Fear of Financial Insecurity

Everyone worries about money from time to time, but financial anxiety is different. Financial anxiety is an obsessive fear of things related to money that can often be deliberating. However, money anxiety doesn't necessarily mean you have no money at all. You could make an income you consider perfectly decent and still fret about your mortgage or worry about losing all your savings to an unexpected medical bill or other major expense. The most common reaction to financial anxiety is avoidance. However, avoiding your finances instead of managing them can cause them to worsen, which in turn causes further anxiety.


Where Does Fear of Financial Insecurity Come From?


Fear of financial insecurity stems from an uncertainty of what the future holds. It’s a fear of not having the resources available to meet your needs or face challenges that lie ahead.


Having a low or unsteady income leaves you more vulnerable to disruptions. Various long-term studies have established the relationship between lower incomes and negative health. People on low incomes increasingly tend to live alongside others who are materially disadvantaged. Deprived neighbourhoods have inadequate housing and a lack of basic amenities and services, all of which can contribute to stress. Adults living in the lowest income group report having anxiety disorder at a rate that is 2.4 times that of adults in the highest income group.


Rising expenses can make it difficult to predict and plan for the future. Some individuals will often struggle to make ends meet and pay bills, leading to an increase in financial strain and anxiety. In addition, they also may not have access to affordable healthcare which can cause stress when they or a loved one becomes ill or injured. In the American Psychological Association’s 2022 Stress in America Survey, 87 percent of people who responded listed inflation as a source of significant stress. The rise in prices for everything from fuel to food has people from all backgrounds worried. The researchers say, in fact, that no other issue has caused this much stress since the survey began in 2007.


Debt can have a significant impact on an individual’s future and financial situation. If you regularly miss your payments, you can accrue interest, and the amount you owe can grow at a shockingly fast rate. A 2022 survey conducted by Aviva, revealed that two in five employees (43%) do not feel financially on track for the future. Having a large amount of debt can limit a person’s financial options, such as their ability to obtain loans or credit cards, making it difficult to make large purchases, such as a car or a house.


How Can Fear of Financial Insecurity Affect You?


Fear of financial insecurity can often leave you feeling irritable or resentful. When worrying about your financial situation, you may find yourself in frequent arguments with loved ones who don’t seem to take the situation seriously, or just don’t fully understand the negative impact it causes you. 9 in 10 adults find it difficult to talk about money, or don’t even discuss it at all. Conflict can become even more likely if you and your family avoid talking about money until you absolutely have to.


When individuals are anxious about their finances, they may experience racing thoughts, which can prevent or make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Overtime, insufficient sleep can have a major impact on your health, memory, and mood. It can also increase your risk of developing health concerns including fatigue, decreased concentration, and a weakened immune system.


Sometimes your debts and expenses can seem too steep a mountain to conquer through typical methods. You might find yourself considering gambling as an option for getting the money you need since a tiny hope might seem better than no hope. But gambling may not help the situation, and the combination of gambling and anxiety could make matters worse. According to a 2016 study, exploring the connection between anxiety symptoms and gambling behaviour, participants with more severe anxiety symptoms tended to meet more of the criteria for gambling disorder.


How to Manage Your Fear of Financial Insecurity


Managing your finances can feel overwhelming, particularly in the face of a shifting economy and a world of uncertainty. Yet, taking control of your money management is key to helping you feel more empowered financially.


Our anxiety soars when we lack confidence in our ability to face a challenge. This is frequently common in the realm of your personal finances, as many of us lack financial literacy. You may benefit from support if your financial concern is significantly distressing you or making it difficult for you to manage your life. Consider working with a mental health and/or financial planning professional to help you cope with your anxiety and make progress on tackling your financial challenges.


As many as 24 million adults don’t feel confident managing their money. Having a clear picture of your income, expenditure and disposable income will immediately help ease your financial anxiety. Through taking a look at your bank statements you can check if a certain subscription you pay for is something you regularly use, and if not, it could be worth cutting it back. In addition to this, you can also set a limit to how much you can spend on your credit or debit cards. This will stop you from overspending and encourages you to reassess your daily expenditures in advance – Many banks offer this service.


While the above tips can certainly help dial down financial anxiety in certain circumstances, it’s important to note that they might not work for you—and it’s not your fault if they don’t. If your financial anxiety is ongoing and regularly impacts your ability to take care of yourself, get work done, and/or interact with others, a health care professional can help you determine the severity of your anxiety and offer treatment options to help you manage it.


How Can Wellity Support You?


Fear of financial insecurity is a huge topic of stress for many of our client organisations and their people. Our financial training series provides tangible and specific guidance on the key issues your employees are facing during this period.


The 10 training titles are:

  • Mastering Your Money in a Changing World

  • Money on My Mind: Dealing with Anxiety

  • Eat Well, Spend Less

  • Financial Insomnia and Investing in Sleep

  • Raising Children in a Recession

  • Festive Times and Finances

  • The Money Smart Home Worker

  • Financial Detoxing and Debt

  • Climbing the Ladder in a Crisis

  • Future Proofing in a Financial Crisis

For more information on other training sessions we offer, contact us at hello@wellityglobal.com.

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