It’s a Tough Time to be Stressed About Money
Whether money is a significant concern, or you have some financial breathing room, we’re here to help you alleviate financial stress.
5 min read
There’s no easy way to put it: 2020 has been a stressful year. With a global pandemic spiking, an important election around the corner, small businesses struggling, schools closed for in-person teaching, and unrest around systemic racial inequality, it’s no surprise that so many around the country feel discouraged or exhausted by what’s going on around them. With all that stress, worrying about your finances seems particularly tough right now. It’s not only possible that your financial situation may have changed drastically over the past few months, with millions of people still furloughed or unemployed, but the way we spend and save has changed too.
As we get closer to the holiday season, a time that tends to be particularly stressful for many Americans, we wanted to understand what your main worries and causes of stress are. We talked to 2,000 adults across the U.S.* and found that people’s mental wellbeing has been significantly impacted by recent events, with 49 percent explaining that they are feeling generally more anxious now than at the same time last year. We also learned that 82 percent of people find that the holidays contribute to feelings of stress, making them feel at least a bit more anxious about the upcoming season.
In response to these findings, we’ve teamed up with N26 Perks partner, Headspace, to bring you tips to help you deal with some of the anxiety in your life. Whether money is a significant concern for you, or the current situation has given you some breathing room, we’re here to give you tools to help you cope with or get ahead of financial stress.
The risks of financial stress
Financial stress is unfortunately fairly common and can come from a number of sources. Whether it’s saving for the holidays, managing student debt, struggling with your credit score, or wondering if you’re putting enough money away for retirement, there are plenty of triggers that can make you feel anxious or helpless. Financial stress can also feel overwhelming and hard to escape, and can affect your relationships, personal life, and even your health. This is particularly scary during a global pandemic.
According to Headspace, while challenging, it is important to try to live in the present, identify the source of your financial stress, and find tangible ways to deal with it. They recommend looking at your finances through the lens of mindfulness, “the idea of learning how to be fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction or judgment.”
Being aware of your situation can help you change your perspective, and in turn your relationship with money. Here are some exercises to help you cope with money-related anxiety.
Check your balance
Keeping tabs on your bank account balance can help you stay in the right frame of mind by giving you a clear understanding of your financial situation. Take a breath, reassess, and use this as a starting point to understanding where you are in relation to your money. With N26, you can also get automated statistics to help you understand exactly where your money is going each month, and come up with a plan to improve your financial wellbeing.
Prioritize and find balance
Sometimes prioritizing can be a struggle, particularly during stressful times. Find ways to cut away everything that is unnecessary in your life to get clarity on the things that matter the most to you.
When you’re stressed about money, you might also feel somewhat off-balance. Taking time to restore equilibrium in your life is especially important when it comes to eliminating financial stress.
If you need helping you get started, Headspace offers 10-day meditation courses to help you specifically with these two areas.
Identify material desires
If you find yourself spending a bit too freely, you might be facing behavior and mental struggles that have to do with material wants. There is certainly a lot you can do to identify and correct these behaviors to make sure they don't add to your financial stress.
At any given time, you might also experience regret from past purchases or decisions. Know that while having insight into your spending habits is important, you should understand that regret is an obstacle, and it shouldn’t have power over you.
The Headspace app provides helpful tips and support when it comes to dealing with these obstacles.
Understanding your emotions
When you’re dealing with financial stress, your emotions can sometimes get the better of you and affect those around you. At any point you might be overwhelmed or feel like a burden, but finding ways to ease that strain will help you move forward with clarity and peace of mind.
If you’re having to adjust your day-to-day to ease financial stress, you might have a tough time coping with change. This is completely normal, particularly during stressful times. Understanding your current storyline will allow you to deal with stress, breathe, reset, and reframe particularly difficult situations.
While you might not be able to prevent feeling frustrated, irritable, angry, or overwhelmed, there are exercises that can help guide you through particularly tense moments, release difficult emotions, and find some relief.
Find some joy
During particularly difficult or stressful times, looking after yourself, or doing something that feels kind and positive can be especially difficult. However, being kind to yourself during financially stressful situations is an important aspect of self-care.
Treating yourself doesn’t necessarily mean spending money. Taking a walk, even if it’s just for a few minutes, can make a big difference in how you feel, and give you a much needed moment of mindfulness.
If you need help feeling motivated, you can always find a creative outlet or take a course to discover or rediscover avenues for self-expression. You should also know that no matter how stressful things become, you can always take a break to breathe and reconnect with the present moment.
This will help you feel refreshed and more prepared to deal with anything life throws your way.
N26 is determined to help you improve your financial and personal wellbeing, with powerful tools to keep you on top of your finances, and Perks partners like Headspace, that help you find balance in your life. When you select Headspace as your preferred Perks subscription, and use your N26 card as payment, you will enjoy an automatic monthly rebate directly into your N26 account. Don’t have an account yet? No problem. Sign up in just 5 minutes directly from your phone to discover banking designed with you in mind.
*Findings are based on a survey by Sapio commissioned by N26, of over 2,000 adults across the U.S. The poll was conducted in October 2020.
The N26 account is offered by Axos Bank®, Member FDIC. N26 Inc. is a service provider of Axos Bank. All deposit accounts of the same ownership and/or vesting held at Axos Bank are combined and insured under the same FDIC Certificate 35546. All deposit accounts through Axos Bank brands are not separately insured by the FDIC from other deposit accounts held with the same ownership and/or vesting at Axos Bank. The N26 Visa® Debit Card is issued by Axos Bank pursuant to a license by Visa U.S.A. Inc. The N26 Visa Debit Card may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.
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