Taking steps to sort out your finances, including increasing your financial knowledge, can help alleviate money stress in times of uncertainty.
Financial stress is nothing new for many Americans, and the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated anxiety for a lot of people. As many as 84% said in September that the Covid-19 crisis is causing stress in their personal finances, according to a survey released Thursday from the National Endowment for Financial Education.
That stress has only slightly improved over the course of the pandemic – in an April survey, 88% of Americans cited the crisis as causing stress in their personal finances.
“Even in the best of circumstances, few home budgets can withstand significant financial strain that goes on this long,” said Billy Hensley, PhD, president and CEO of NEFE, in a statement.
To help combat financial stress, experts recommend boosting financial knowledge and taking small steps to build or stick to a plan. In the U.K., 68% of people who had spoken with an advisor felt better about money management, compared to 53% who had not met with one, according to a September survey from Royal London.
In addition, speaking with a financial advisor lowered stress levels somewhat — only 37% of those who sought advice said they feel anxious when they think about household finances, compared to 41% among those who had not consulted an advisor.
One of the best ways to start planning is to gain better visibility into your current financial situation, according to Jess Liberi, head of product at eMoney.
“See where you’re spending and saving your money today,” said Liberi. Once you have a grasp on that, ask yourself where you can make small improvements today that will have a big impact