Tips to Overcoming Financial Stress
Financial stress is a sadly widespread experience. According to the American Psychological Association, 8 out of 10 people identify money as a significant source of stress in their live. This is extremely significant because financial stress is linked to health problems like ulcers, depression and sleeping problems. With the recent recession, the rising cost of fuel and food, the housing market and mortgage crisis, many employees are feeling the crunch of financial stress. The stress and anxiety over finances and money can negatively affect health in several ways for both the employee and a company.
• Unhealthy feelings or emotions: Such things like credit card debt cause unhealthy emotions that take a toll on an employee’s health. Experiences of anxiety, frustration and a sense of hopelessness as the debt piles up and increasing amounts of money are needed just to pay the interest. This causes additional stress, which compounds with the stress from poor coping and self-neglect, to become a overwhelming amount of stress.
• Decrease in workplace performance: With less money in the budget, people who are already under financial stress tend to spend roughly 28 hours a month at work, worrying over their finances. Research has shown that such distractions cost organizations, at a minimum, roughly $7,000 per impacted employee in lost performance. When you consider turnover, absenteeism and safety issues, the figure jumps to $15,000 per impacted employee.
• Lost of Sleep: When under financial stress, people often experience trouble sleeping, which leads to a sleep deficit, impairing immune functioning and cognitive abilities, causing additional moodiness, and more.
• Increased healthcare cost by negative coping behaviors: People experiencing financial stress are more likely to numb their anxiety by drinking, smoking, overeating. Such activity has a direct impact on a company’s healthcare cost.
It’s no wonder financial stress is one of the leading causes of stress in employees. Here are suggestions to help employees get a handle their financial situation and feel more in control of your life, reducing stress and helping them build toward a more secure future:
• Conduct a your own financial audit: Truly be honest with yourself and answer; “do you have a major money problem, or is my situation relatively under control?” How much help do I need to get on the right track.
• Get help and seek education: As an employee, find out if your employer offers any financial education program to assist you. If not, become an ambassador to push for such a program, as your not the only one struggling. Research shows that roughly 20% of all employees are struggling with finances and are feeling the stress its causing. A true workplace financial education program should cover a host of important areas such as; savings, money management, budgeting, investing and buying a home.
• Setting goals to get out of debt: Getting out from under credit card debt is much easier with a plan. Its difficult to think about investing for retirement if your struggling paycheck to paycheck. No matter how much you make, debt is impacting everyone.
• It all starts with saving!: Keeping a budget and working toward reducing what you owe is easier if you have more money. No matter how much you can initally start socking away, the feeling of relief in saving money is another key step in gaining control over your stress.
As employees work on improving their financial situation, they can reduce stress by taking control of their finances and living with in set budgets. Its these budgets that will help guide them to making better money decisions. Employees can then begin to focus less on financial challenges and more on their jobs. As an employer, you need to offer a truly comprehensive program and not retirement planning, as employees who are living paycheck to paycheck are not interested in retirement "lunch and learns", when they are stressed over making that next mortgage payment.
Find out why leading companies are coming to CoreCentive and our workplace financial education program to help address financial stress and get employees back on their feet.