Rising house prices, low wage growth and under employment are placing Australian families under increasing financial pressure. We spoke to counsellor and communication expert Zoe Slater about how to recognise and identify if your issues around money are sabotaging your decision making or relationships with others.
Money stress, affects all of us at different ages and stages in our life. Depending on how you manage stress in your life will depend on how you handle Money Stress. Stress is how the body communicates that there’s a problem that needs sorting out. It’s important that you pay attention to your body and either fix the issues or seek help because if left unchecked your stress levels will simply continue to increase.
Use the 14 tell-tale signs listed below to observe the likely-hood of you or your partner showing the signs of being under Money Stress. It’s these observations that will assist you in making an informed choice regarding the conversations needed and action required to remedy the situation.
The 14 Tell-tale Signs of Money Stress:
- If your first waking thoughts are about, how you’re going to pay your bills, you are experiencing the anxiety of money stress.
- When you know you need a Savings Plan and a Lifestyle Budget and don’t do it – this causes money stress.
- If your daily expenses are causing you to worry about every expense, that’s money stress.
- If you dread the thought of more bills arriving in the post or by email.
- If you’re afraid of telling your partner about how much you spend or you start hiding your purchases.
- Have arguments with your partner over: your play money – how much is enough, food, education, cars, paying off old debts, child maintenance and saving for dreams.
- Find yourself being unreasonable around deceased estates.
- If you catch yourself stealing money or telling lies about items you have purchased.
- When you’ve given up on your dreams because you spend more than you earn.
- When you are worry because you’ve spent all your pay and then feel anxious about how you will survive until the next pay day.
- Borrow money from family and friends, and now you’re avoiding them because your behind and embarrassed. Borrowing money from family and friends generally doesn’t end well. It can be highly stressful, tethering social and family relationships.
- You obsess about winning money! That it’s the answer to everything, this obsession supports your spending habits, stress and possible gambling habits. When you work you get paid, when you gamble you lose.
- Having conversations around money cause you stress and negatively alter your mood? If so you are definitely under stress and likely not in a supportive money psychology for e.g. not having money can make you angry – judging yourself for not being a better provider or others having plenty of money can make you angry judging them.
- You feel shame and guilt about your financial position.
Any or all of these money stress factors can cause a mild or severe reaction.
A mild money reaction might cause your listening to be affected – like your ears feel muffled and you may not able to hear properly or your mind can become fuzzy diminishing your comprehension, not able to understand clearly what’s being said about money. In some cases, your heart can beat faster, you might have sweaty palms, feel your face flushing or feel like your whole body wants to run.
To try and remedy the situation, just take a few deep breaths or walk outside and look at the furthest view take a few more breaths and return to the conversation if your able. However if you feel tightness, heaviness or pain around your chest or arms, shortness of breath seek medical help/advise immediately.
The POSITIVE about MONEY STRESS is that you can turn stress into Success. In my next blog we will look into this very topic.
In the meantime if you have any questions or need help or guidance please send me an email or give a call on M: 0414 778 476.
Zoe is the director of Zoe Slater Counselling. She studied at The Australian College of Applied Psychology, Sydney Campus and completed her Diploma of Counselling and Communication at the Brisbane Campus. Zoe is an Associate Member with the Queensland Counsellors Association Inc and a member with Australian Counsellors Association.