Money trou­bles get­ting you down? Rosie King asks the ex­perts how we can con­quer these com­mon fi­nan­cial woes and al­le­vi­ate some of the stress

Sunday Herald Sun - Body and Soul - - LIFESTYLE -

Fi­nan­cial trou­bles are the num­ber-one cause of stress in this coun­try, ac­cord­ing to the Stress and Well­be­ing in Aus­tralia Sur­vey con­ducted by the Aus­tralian Psy­cho­log­i­cal So­ci­ety.

The five is­sues that trig­ger most of our money wor­ries are: bad debt, home loans, re­tire­ment, sup­port­ing the fam­ily and bud­get­ing. The stress caused by these pres­sures im­pacts the health of more than 72 per cent of Aussies, while 64 per cent be­lieve it af­fects their men­tal health.

These sober­ing sta­tis­tics don’t sur­prise Kris­ten Hart­nett, a fi­nan­cial coun­sel­lor with The Sal­va­tion Army’s Mon­ey­care ser­vice. “Fi­nan­cial stress takes an enor­mous toll on a per­son’s well­be­ing,” she says. “As well as phys­i­cal and men­tal health, it can strain per­sonal re­la­tion­ships and af­fect their per­for­mance at work.

“A lot of peo­ple feel deep shame when they have a fi­nan­cial is­sue. They ques­tion their com­pe­tence and abil­ity to pro­vide for their fam­ily,” she adds. “Once some­one starts tak­ing steps to ease their stress, the ef­fects in­clude higher self-es­teem, im­prove­ment in re­la­tion­ships and con­fi­dence in their fu­ture.”

Cer­ti­fied prac­tis­ing ac­coun­tant Natalie Ducki, founder of busi­ness ad­vi­sory ser­vice Col­lec­tive Works, agrees: “Tak­ing a sin­gle step to­wards a so­lu­tion will make you feel more in con­trol.”

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