If your finances stress you out, you’re not alone. Here are 3 things you can do.

If your finances stress you out, you’re not alone.

Almost one in two Australians experience financial stress. That’s almost half the country! 

The impact of financial stress extends far beyond money. It can wreak havoc on your relationships, your self-confidence, your health and so many other areas of your life. I’ve seen this first-hand.

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See, a few years ago, I started a financial education platform to help people get on top of their finances. Over the years, we’ve had hundreds of people of all ages completely transform their financial lives through our flagship course, Mastering Money

Every year, I witness many of our students escape financial stress they’ve been living with for years. I’ve seen students go from feeling anxious every time they look at their bank account, to becoming enthusiastic savers who finally feel in control of their money. I’ve seen students go from being terrified of investing, to becoming confident investors who start and grow their own portfolio.

So, having supported hundreds of people in improving their financial lives, I’ve learned a few things about how to overcome financial stress. Here are three unspoken truths about financial stress.


1. It’s not about how much money you have.

"If only I had more money, that would fix all my money problems." We’ve probably all thought this at some point. The problem is: it’s not true. 

There are plenty of millionaires who are financially stressed (I’ve met a few). There are plenty of people earning six-figure incomes who are living paycheque to paycheque (some of them are our students!). 

More money, on its own, won’t fix the problem. The problem isn’t how much money you have. The problem is that you don’t know how to properly manage the money you do get. 

In fact, if you have more money, but no idea what to do with it, that’s just a recipe for more stress. 

Think about this: if a skilled investor had the same amount of money you have right now, do you think they’d be able to do more with it? Do you think they’d be able to grow it, maybe even double it? 

Yeah, probably. The difference between you and them is not the amount of money, it’s the financial capability. They have the mindset, knowledge and skills required to turn your money into wealth. Do you? 

So many of our students tell us that they "finally feel in control" of their money, whereas before "money used to control" them. That change happens not because they have more money, but because they developed the skills required to manage their money. This is the key to reducing financial stress. 

2. Financial stress often reflects the emotional relationship you have with money.

Whether you realise it or not, you have an emotional relationship with money


For example, are you overly cautious with spending, even if you don’t need to be? Or do you feel like if you make one mistake, then it could all fall apart? Or do you feel a mild panic whenever you buy something a little more expensive than usual, even though you can easily afford it? 

All those things reflect your emotional relationship with money. 

Often, underneath financial stress is a ‘fear’ or ‘lack’ based emotional relationship with money. This means that, deep down, you are living in a state of constant fear or lack around money. This will create financial stress no matter how much money is in your bank account. 

Your emotional relationship with money drives your financial behaviours and ultimately your financial outcomes. It’s hard to take confident action on improving your finances if you’re stuck in a place of fear.

This is why, one of the first things we work on with our students is improving their psychological and emotional relationship with money. Once you clear out some of the ‘emotional baggage’, money doesn’t feel like this heavy, stressful, scary thing. It can feel fun and exciting.

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3. Avoidance and inaction only add more fuel to the anxiety.

I remember talking to someone who told me she’d been talking to her therapist about her financial stress for years. When I asked her what else she’d tried to improve her finances, she hadn’t done much.


Now, I think therapy is incredibly valuable, so I’m not dissing it. 

But my point is that sometimes people put more effort into talking, discussing, venting about their financial stress, than taking the practical steps to fix their financial problems. 

No amount of “talking about it” is going to fix your finances. It might make you temporarily feel better, but the best solution long-term is to fix the underlying financial problems. 

What I’ve seen with our students is that once you start taking tangible, practical steps towards improving your financial life, your anxiety starts to reduce.

There is enormous relief in finally doing something about your situation, because you know that at least you’re going to start making some progress (which is always better than no progress at all). 

That’s why the antidote to anxiety is often found in taking action. So, if you just start, one step at a time, you might be amazed at how much progress you can make in a relatively short period of time. 

Paridhi Jain is the founder of SkilledSmart, a financial education platform helping adults learn to save, manage and invest their money. For more money tips, you can grab a free e-book on "5 Money Mistakes Costing You Thousands" via their website, and learn more about their course, Mastering Money.

Feature image: Supplied.

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