Instead of counting sheep, many adults find themselves stressing over their finances.
The list goes on when it comes to South African's trying to find ways to juggle debt, take care of day-to-day expenses, and care for their loved ones, enough to affect their mental health.
According to the Profmed index, financial stress among South African professionals is on the rise. While there are no quick fixes, these are some of the few handy tips you can use to ease the financial stress.
Understand where you are financially
Juggling many financial responsibilities can leave many people feeling overwhelmed, which could lead to them making poor financial decisions. This is where being truthful to yourself in terms of your finances is vital.
Knowing how much you earn versus how much you spend is the first step to assessing what needs to be cut back. While most South African's have a budget in place as many as 76% of people run out of money before they reach mid-month.
There are many contributing factors such as purchasing items that have not been budgeted for or setting an unrealistic budget that forces some people to dip into their savings or end up using their credit cards to make ends meet.
Having an honest conversation with yourself in terms of what you can afford can help you know which areas you need to cut back on to give your budget more breathing room.
Reduce your debt wherever possible
According to MoneyWeb, there are 25 million active credit card consumers, 10 million of which are behind payments owing millions of rands. Not only living above our means is leaving many South Africans stressed, but it is also causing health complications.
If you have debt, it is vital to tackle this before adding more debt onto your plate. Meeting the monthly payments and cutting back on things that you do not need can help you reach your goal of being debt-free. This could also mean downsizing your lifestyle to make ends meet.
Know your triggers
When the going gets tough, you may choose to destress by picking up unhealthy habits that end up costing you more. Drinking, smoking, or comfort eating may seem like a small price to pay to deal with life's woes, but this can easily accumulate to thousands of rands that can be used to help reduce the financial stress.
Knowing your triggers and finding the support you need to quit them will make your commitment to easing the financial stress possible. If you are finding it hard to address these issues with your loved ones, seeking professional help from a psychologist or a debt councillor can help you manage your triggers better.
Setting up an emergency fund to help you deal with unforeseen emergencies is one of the ways in which you can avoid stretching your budget. Always remember to be realistic in terms of what you can spend and what you can save to avoid quitting your goals in the long run.
Having a life cover in place can help protect you and your loved ones from any debt that you may have accumulated once you pass on. Not only will you be able to pay off any existing debt, but your loved ones can use it to pay for their daily expenses, pay off the bond, or educational expenses.