By Jennifer Roche | with
thanks to Tesco Health and Wellbeing
Wednesday, January 28, 2015.
At this time of year, many of us are counting the cost of Christmas and
dreading the arrival of the January bills. Worrying about money can cause
stress and anxiety which can be detrimental to our physical and mental health.
Are you worried about money? Then read on and find out how to worry less and
How worrying about money
affects our health
The most common symptom of
worrying about money is lack of sleep. If you are not getting enough sleep
because you are lying awake worrying, this can lead to irritability, lack of
productivity and inability to concentrate. Physically, continuous lack of sleep
can also contribute to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and can impact on your
immune system, leading to illness. Other symptoms of worrying about money are
mental stress, anxiety, depression and emotional distress which, in extreme
cases, can lead to suicide.
Worrying is a perfectly
normal emotion and we all worry from time to time. However, constant worry can
drive us to depression and despair if it goes unchecked. If worrying about
money is taking over your life then it’s time to deal with the problem. Here
are some tips to help you stop worrying and start living.
Reduce stress: Working
to actively reduce stress will help you stop worrying about money and will
empower you to actively deal with the source of the problem in a calm and
pragmatic way. Exercise is an ideal stress-buster and will help you to sleep
more soundly. Meditation is another good way to reduce stress and calm those
Don’t live in denial: Burying
your head in the sand and ignoring the bills or letters from the bank isn’t
going to make the problem go away. If you are worrying about money don’t hide
from the problem. You need to know exactly where you stand in order to do
something about it.
Face your fears: You
may be worried about getting in touch with banks or companies you owe money to.
It’s always better to engage with them at an early point in the proceedings as
they will be more willing to negotiate a way that works for both of you. Don’t
wait until they are about to take you to court or repossess your belongings.
Seek advice: If you
are in debt then the best thing to do is seek advice. Your local Citizens
Advice Bureau or Money Advice Service can usually help. Talking to a
professional who can advise and guide you will help you find your way out of
the financial quagmire.
Don’t bottle it up: Keeping
your problems to yourself won’t solve them and can have a negative effect on
your health and wellbeing. If you are worrying about money then speak to
somebody about it. Talk to your partner or family and, working together, you
can find a way to deal with the problem. If you can’t talk to those close to you
then try a counselling service or the Samaritans. Remember, a trouble shared is
a trouble halved.
Switch off: If you
watch the news daily or read a daily newspaper, it’s very easy to get dragged
down by the constant negative reporting about the economy, which can lead to
worry about how it will affect you. If it’s getting in on you, take a step
back. Watch a sitcom instead of the news and escape into a book instead of
reading the paper for a while. It will help you to stop worrying too much.
Track your spending: Just
like tracking food in your Food Diary, tracking your spending will help you to
see exactly where your money is going. Keep all your receipts for a month, go
through your credit card statement with a fine tooth comb. This will help you
to identify where savings can be made and where you can trim any financial
Budget: Once you know
your incomings and outgoings, set yourself a monthly budget and keep to it. By
using the Food Diary and Shopping list, you can plan meals and see how much
your food budget will cost. Buying online with Click To Buy will let you see
exactly how much your shopping is going to cost before purchase. If over
budget, you can cross off any superfluous items without getting stung at the
Shop around: Always
look for the best deal when making a purchase. Whether renewing your health
insurance, renewing your phone contract or buying a costly item like a TV or
car, always shop around for the best deal and don’t be afraid to ask for a
discount, it can sometimes pay off. You can even shop around for a better bank.
Check out your bank’s fees and your credit card’s interest rates. If you can
find a better one and you can transfer over, you’re making a saving straight
Pay down your debts: Has
your credit card spiralled out of control? If you are just paying the minimum
amount off your card every month, you will end up paying a fortune in interest
before you ever clear it. Take a look at your budget, see how much you can
afford to pay off it every week/month and keep chipping away. It may mean a few
lean months but you will save a huge amount in the long run. Set a time at
which you intend to be ‘debt free’ and keep to it. If you have a number of
credit or store cards, pay off the one with the highest interest rate first.
Save for a rainy day: If
you can afford to, it’s usually a good idea to put a little away every
week/month in case of emergencies. That way, if a big expense suddenly falls on
you, it won’t have such a large impact on your budget. In these uncertain
times, many fear job loss, illness or disability so if you can, try and put
enough away to cover you for a few months should anything go wrong.
Stop worrying and start
They say that money is the
root of all evil. It can certainly seem that way if it’s causing you stress and
anxiety. However, it’s a necessary evil which we all need to live with so don’t
let it consume you. Remember that the best things in life are free so take time
out to enjoy them.