Financial stress: Causes and solutionsMoney worries are global in nature. Here is a checklist to see how worried you are with your finances. Have you been paying bills with money earmarked for something else or using up your savings to pay everyday bills?
14 Aug 2007
Financial worries are global in nature. Here is a checklist to see how worried you are with your finances.
1. Have you been paying bills with money earmarked for something else or using up your savings to pay everyday bills?
2. Are you making only minimum payment on a credit card bill?
3. Is your emergency fund less than your three months income saved?
If you have answered 'yes to all these questions, you're up on a winding road towards financial stress. And if you have already started getting headaches and palpitations, and if you have stopped checking your bank balance regularly, just because you are scared to find out how much money you have left, you are heading towards a pathological situation called Money Sickness Syndrome.
In India, finding money for loan repayment and educating one's children are two prime reasons for financial stress. Fear of job loss, debt, insufficient retirement savings and imprudent use of credit cards also lead to financial stress.
Dr Rohini Virathan has seen many such cases in her career as a psychologist and counselor at Pune Adventist Hospital. "In this age of plastic money, people are tempted to overspend and misinterpret their spending power. A credit card purchase does not entail immediate payment, and this leads to a false sense of affluence and security," she says.
Financial stress can affect people of all ages and have equal effects on risk-takers as well as 'play-safers According to Dr Virathan, the roots of most finance-related stress disorders are two-fold lack of proper planning and a disconnection with one's true financial position and future prospects.
The first commandment to de-stress is 'get help'.
Finances are a serious matter. Even while managing household finances, two cool heads are better than one in distress. People dealing with big bucks should have qualified financial advisors as consultants.
Get organized: Your second commandment.
No matter how bad a financial situation is, it is never too late to get organized. The first step towards it is to accept your financial worry. As Manish Pawar, a counselor, puts it, "Facing up to your situation squarely, you reduce stress because we are no longer trying to escape."
Some quick recommendations:
- Avoid any kind of financial discomfort.
- Alter your level of financial risk.
- Consult a professional financial advisor.
- Explain your situation honestly to your debtors and not the least, curtail spending until the crisis is resolved.
So, develop your own personalized game plan today.