The sheer weight of financial worry can really take its toll on your mental and physical health. They say that money can’t buy you happiness but learning how to spot the common signs of financial problems and learning how to cope with them can certainly help in making your life a little easier.
Some of the main causes of financial difficulties can include job insecurity, separation or divorce, chronic illness or injury, debt, and addiction. But no matter how dire the situation may seem, there is always help at hand - you just need to ask for it. By facing financial difficulties head-on, you can wade your way through the worry, take control of your finances and reduce your stress levels.
5 common signs that you may have money problems
1. Trouble sleeping
From rock-solid insomnia and exhaustion to night terrors and sleep paralysis, struggling to sleep could mean that you’re also struggling to keep up with your finances.
2. Heightened anxiety
Anxiety can be caused by many different contributing factors but having financial issues is likely to heighten any anxious feelings that you may already be experiencing.
3. Physical ailments
Ever had a migraine after a particularly stressful day? Headaches and high blood pressure are very common signs of uneasiness. Sure, they may all be physical symptoms but you can bet that they’re often a telling sign of the state of your mental wellbeing.
4. Rocky relationships
Left unresolved, financial stress can fester and cause you to feel irritable and angry. This feeling of general unhappiness can leak into other areas of your life and result in you losing things such as caring less about your partner’s needs and wants and generally losing interest in your union. This, in turn, can erode the foundations of even the healthiest relationships.
5. Harmful coping mechanisms
Adopting unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as using drugs, drinking too much alcohol, gambling or binge eating, could be a telling sign that you have money worries.
5 ways to face your financial difficulties
1. Identify the issue
Do you have credit card debt, an overhanging bill or a long list of frivolous purchases? Whatever the issue is, the first step in solving any financial worry is identifying the problem at hand - no quick-fix can be found unless you know exactly what it is, you’re trying to resolve.
Once you’ve identified the issue, you can then work to devise a solution. If you have multiple money problems that you’re concerned about, we recommend making a different plan for each so that your roadmap to financial recovery is tailored to your needs. For example, if you’re concerned about your overall income, it may be time to downsize your home or eliminate your car payment - the things that seem essential to your happiness may not be as important as you think.
2. Take time to talk
Sometimes, simplicity is key. You know what they say, a problem shared is a problem halved and your financial problems are no expectation to this. Keeping your money worries close to your chest only makes the weight of your worries heavier and more difficult to carry all by yourself. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your problems are a burden to those closest to you - choose someone you trust and confide in them.
Being open and honest with those you care about can really help you put things into perspective; something that is sorely needed when dealing with money problems. There’s no shame in expressing your emotions and talking about what’s troubling you.
3. Recognise your triggers
There’s nothing wrong with splashing out every now and then, but recognising the difference between a treat and a trigger is crucial. Whether you’re an online shopping addict, enjoy a day at the races or are a sucker for expensive restaurants, identifying your spending patterns is an important part of untangling your financial knots.
As soon as you’ve tapped into your triggers you’ll be able to hone in on healthier ways to relieve yourself and steer you away from the murky world of retail therapy. Our M Account Link opens in a new window is packed full of super smart tools to help manage your money. If you've experienced financial difficulties or have a poor credit record then it could just be the current account for you.
4. Buy into budgeting
Regaining control over your finances is one of the most empowering ways to build yourself back up from rock bottom, and budgeting is a great way to do that. Budgeting your outgoings monthly could be the key to keeping your future finances on track.
Be sure to include everything from your everyday expenses, your annual outgoings and even those unexpected financial losses too. It’s important to have emergency funds stashed away, just in case. Make sure that everyone around you is also aware of your plan and that your household is helping you pull towards the same goal - with more eyes on the ball, you’re less likely to fall off track.
You can start by making simple, small changes, like getting the Virgin Money mobile banking app Link opens in a new window (which is available with all of our Virgin Money current accounts) to help you budget, top up your savings, sort out your spending and take control of your money.
5. Work on yourself
There are many trials in life that can make you feel deflated and, at points, like a failure. Though money isn’t the most important thing in the world, going through financial worry and turmoil can have a huge impact on your self-worth and overall happiness. When you’re struggling in yourself, helping others who are less fortunate than you can be a rewarding way to build yourself up and boost your self-esteem.
Taking part in worthy causes such as volunteering schemes and charity work can have a positive impact on your quality of life, as well those whom you choose to help. Alternatively, picking up a new hobby or spending more time with those you love can help you appreciate what you have and put your money troubles to one side. Take that break, watch that sunset and wash those worries away with new and healthy forms of self-care.
Don’t forget our award-winning Money On Your Mind Link opens in a new window support is available. Speak to one of our 300-strong Red Team for help with any money-related questions you have, whether you bank with us or not.