There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had a wide-ranging impact on all of us. We know that one thing that Australians often worry about is their financial situation. Many of us may experience financial stress as a result of physical distancing requirements and the impact this has had on employers and jobs. It is perfectly normal to worry about our financial situation, even in the best of times, as we try and provide a good life for ourselves and our loved ones. With so much uncertainty across a number of industries and employers, and if our partners or loved ones have lost their jobs, financial related stress may be a key concern for many.
Employers can play a role in helping their employees cope with financial related stress by recognising the impact it can have on different groups in the workplace. It is important to recognise that there are many varied reasons for financial stress. For example, our aging workforce is facing many challenges, including their fear of entering retirement, paying for their children’s higher education and moving their parents into nursing homes. On the other hand, millennials are facing economic instability, crushing student debt, stagnant wages and looming uncertainty about the future.
How individual employees handle financial stress varies greatly. Employers should aim to reduce the impact that this type of stress can have at work in the form of presenteeism. Breaking down and understanding the underlying issues can be the key to helping employees become more resilient.
Here are some basic tips on reducing finance-related stress:
1) Learn to budget: If your financial situation is causing you stress, it’s vital to create a budget. Record all income and expenditure and know exactly what you spend on non-essential items. Be critical of what you are spending and cut down on any unessential items if necessary.
2) Pay off debt: Review and consolidate loans to help get them under control. Pay off your credit card debt and remember to start with the credit card with the highest interest rate.
3) Review fees: It’s important to review your bank and bank products as your life circumstances change. Compare and contrast bank fees and ensure you have the best products for your individual situation. Your bank manager can help talk you through the best options.
4) Save for a rainy day: Having an emergency or ‘rainy day’ fund can help alleviate financial stress knowing you have something in reserve. Start putting money away every month – even if it’s just a small amount, it all adds up.
5) De-stress: It’s normal to feel worried or anxious when times are hard but consider the impact financial stress is having on your life. Take time to relax and de-stress. Taking the right steps towards getting your finances in control will help ease stress.
To find out more about our Financial Coaching services, call us on 1800 650 204.