We all know that thinking about financial situations can often be incredibly stressful. But did you know it can actually make us sick? According to one survey, nearly half of women have lost sleep over money worries and many believe the strain has impacted their mental and physical health.
And it’s not just one isolated survey proving that financial pressure affects women’s health. According to new research examining a woman’s relationship with money, nearly three out of five (or 58%) women worry about their finances at least several times a month.
Financial stress has only gotten worse for young women
Women, more so than men, state that their money worries have had an overwhelming impact on their mental and physical health — especially among millennial women!
More than one in three women were taught growing up that talking about money is crass. According to Bankrate, 41% of millennials want to talk about their finances, but do not have anyone they feel comfortable talking to about it. In addition, findings from the study indicate that more than half of millennial women don’t think they will have enough money to retire, and 68% of millennial women can’t save money because they are only earning enough to get by. Further, one-third of women say competing financial priorities and not having enough money in savings are their major stressors.
The numbers are clear. American women need resources to deal with financial pressures.
Managing financial stress
So how can we manage this stress? As part of Argent’s focus on serving women called Women | Wealth | Wellness, here are several tips to help women better understand and manage financial stressors:
1| Identify your money stressors and recognize the triggers
Nearly everyone worries about money, but there can be different stress triggers for different people. For some, anxiety may come from expenses related to shelter, such as a mortgage or lease. For others, it could be surrounding paying bills timely or monthly budgeting. Identify which financial strains cause the most anxiety, and hopefully you’ll be better mentally prepared to tackle these.
2| Knowledge and financial education are key
Financial literacy is a crucial component to understanding and managing financial stressors. The following are just a few potential suggestions that can help an individual become more knowledgeable about money:
• Join an investment club
• Sign up for a money management class
• Read books, newspaper articles, magazines, blogs or watch videos on personal finance
3| Set aside dedicated time daily, weekly or monthly to review your finances.
This is a simple and attainable first step to take, individually or as a family, and it can significantly increase your level of financial accountability. Set a time to go over your money plan and then hold yourself to it. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “You may delay but time will not.”
4| Consider an effective financial plan with short, intermediate and long-term goals in mind.
Perhaps it’s also time to set a goal to spend some time analyzing your personal finances. Situations can and do change on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.
Take a moment to review current plans to see if there are adjustments that need to be made. It’s likely that your plans or goals have changed, and you may need to adjust accordingly.
5| Find an advisor you can trust and be brutally honest about your money stressors.
It’s always prudent to discuss your financial situation with a trusted team of professionals. Ideally, you’ll have a team that includes a wealth manager, corporate trustee, banker, attorney, insurance agent and certified public accountant.
Knowing that you’re not just responding to financial stresses but actively putting plans in place with the advice of experts should allow for the peace of mind that comes with being proactive about your finances, and not just reactive.
Think about how you can relieve overall stress in your daily life, and, if successful, you’ll probably also have a better mindset to address any financial worries.
If anything in this article describes your situation, and you find yourself asking where to begin the process of spending less and saving more, please reach out to an AmeriTrust wealth manager. We’d love nothing more than to help you get on the course to a brighter, less stressful financial future.