WARNING: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyadviceservice.org.uk

Tips for Help With Financial Anxiety

March 19, 2020

Money anxiety is not a pleasant stage in anyone’s life. Most of us will have had some financial problems in varying degrees. Money worries can, and will, affect anyone, from the impact of losing a job, or reducing hours, to illness or unexpected emergencies.

Before we get to available professional help, let’s look at how you can start to help yourself. Remember, sidestepping the issues won’t make them disappear.

It is crucial that you don’t go through this alone. Speak to someone you can trust as soon as you can rather than bury your head in the sand. Continue to see friends to help you avoid feeling isolated and lonely.

If necessary, keep your CV up to date and continue to pay your bills as much as you can. Any missed payments will have a further financial effect and only makes matters worse.

Here are a few top tips for coping:-

  • Prioritise your debts and reshape your budget.
  • Cancel any unused subscriptions.
  • Shop around for better deals with TV/broadband packages if out of a contract, even energy suppliers
  • The same applies to car insurance, home insurance etc.
  • Can you put charity donations on hold until you’ve finished paying off debt?
  • Have any of your regular payments got ‘payment holidays’ that you can take?
  • If possible, consider overtime or a second job to help with any shortfalls.
  • Download a financial app to help. Some link with your bank account and credit cards and show where you spend your money. That morning coffee at the train station can add up!
  • If possible, combine accounts- one current account, one savings account, and one credit card. Doing this makes it much easier to keep track of everything.
  • Set up Direct Debits for payments where possible; this ensures you don’t forget to pay any bills.
  • Sadly, cut out any luxuries and focus only on what is essential. Small changes, like taking a packed lunch to work, will save some money.
  • Cut up your credit cards or give them to someone else to hold- remove the temptation.
  • Remove saved card details from any websites. If you have to re-enter card details, it may give you time to consider it’s an impulsive spend rather than a necessity.
  • File all personal finance bills, statements, receipts, and letters in one place. That way, you can manage your financial situation a little more quickly and effortlessly.
  • Try to stick to your routine, keep exercising, and don’t drink too much alcohol. Drinking too much will cause more problems and could add extra strain and leave you feeling more worried and anxious.

Worrying about money can have some real physical effects too. It will keep you awake at night, wastes precious time, and stops you from enjoying life. You feel anxious, your blood pressure rises, you get severe tension headaches, and it puts a strain on your relationships. It’s a vicious cycle- worrying harms your mental health, and poor mental health makes managing your money harder!

If you are still feeling low and worrying after a few weeks, make an appointment to see your GP, they can advise. See you can self-refer to a psychological therapy service in your area, which will help you to cope better. There is a multitude of other organisations that can help too, such as:

Citizens’ Advice Bureau- visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/. Or call 03444 111 444. For Text relay: 03444 111 445

Samaritans- visit www.samaritans.org or call 1160123

Money Advice Service- visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/categories/debt-and-borrowing or call 0800 138 7777

National Debtline- visit https://www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/information/Pages/default.aspx or call 0808 808 4000

Step Change Debt Charity- visit https://www.stepchange.org/how-we-help.aspx, or you can call once you have filled in an online form to provide them with the information they require.

Mind- visit https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/money-and-mental-health/money-and-mental-health/ or call 0300 123 3393

Mental Health and Money Advice- visit www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org. Only an online service is available.

Relate- visit https://www.relate.org.uk/, or you can find a list of locations on the site that you can call.

Some people look at short term loans as a way out. This can help if you are confident that you can pay it back but can land you in a lot more trouble if you can’t repay it.

Consolidating loans may help too. By bringing multiple repayments to a single regular one it can help finances become more manageable. Again, if you struggle to repay it, there are severe consequences, and it could likely get you into more debt. Also, consider that you are only prolonging your debt and may pay more back in the long term.

Just remember, no matter what, you are not alone, and there is plenty of help available. Taking that first step is the hardest, but you will be glad you did in the long run.