Financial Stress could be affecting your physical wellbeing

There appears to be a link between your financial fitness and physical health, according to a study released by BT Financial Group.

The study asked people to rate their financial situation along with other aspects of their lives. Out of the people surveyed by the study, issues including poor physical fitness, lack of sleep and relationship problems were all reported higher amongst those who perceived their financial situation to be below average.

Here are some of the results:

Below average financial situation Top rated financial situation
  • 34% admitted poor physical fitness,
  • 32% admitted relationships affected by money worries,
  • 38% admitted unable to sleep because of financial troubles
  • 9% admitted poor physical fitness
  • 14% admitted relationships affected by money worries,
  • 11% admitted unable to sleep because of financial troubles

It is noteworthy that for each of these three issues, those with below average financial situations had more than double the percentage of admissions than those with the top rated financial situations.

Financial Worries affecting physical and mental wellbeing

BT financial advice expert Bryan Ashenden said financial worries are a heavy burden on a person’s overall health and wellbeing.

“There are certain behaviours that those rating their personal financial situation low have in common – a greater tendency to spend more than they have, to not pay the total credit card balance and let large debts drift out beyond the interest free period,” he said.

“Very few are able to put money aside for an emergency let alone a retirement savings plan and just over a quarter (27 per cent) set any form of financial goal at all.

“But the flipside is that boosting your financial situation can reap rewards in other areas of your life.

“The key is to take control of your finances by setting budgets, reining in credit card use, avoiding the temptation to live beyond your means and creating financial goals along with a plan to achieve them.”

So if you want to have a better physical and mental wellbeing, getting your finances in order can be a good start.

Related Article: Stay fit for life

6 Tips: How can I get financially fit?

There is plenty of help out there if you are struggling with your finances but here are some simple ideas to get started:

1. Draw up a budget

This might seem like a heavy task but it can be done in an hour. Take a look at your monthly bank statements and see where your money is going. How much is left over each month after important expenses? Simply knowing this value can go a long way to knowing what your spending means is and how to not go beyond it. Give our online budget planner a try as a great way to get started.

2. Save!

We all know the value of saving, but many of us struggle to do it. Force yourself to put money aside, preferably somewhere you don’t have easy access to, like a high interest savings account that doesn’t reward interest if any withdrawals are made in a month. Just having these funds aside can put your mind at ease because you know you have a backup for desperate situations.

3. Avoid debt

Avoid (more) debt like the plague; it’s always better for save for things yourself than borrow for them. Use debit cards over credit cards wherever possible. Of course, certain things, like houses, can’t usually be saved up for and we need to borrow for them. Home loans can actually be a good method of saving because you are being forced to put your money into an investment – your house! If you are buying property though, compare home loans to make sure you’re not paying more for your debt than you need to.

4. Reduce debt

If you do find yourself in deep debt, there is hope! If you’ve got a large credit card debt that you don’t think you can pay off in time, use a balance transfer to avoid incurring high interest. Many balance transfer deals offer 0% introductory rates for 12 months, so you could transfer the debt to these new accounts and slowly pay it off without the threat of incurring high interest. Make sure you pay attention to the annual fees on the card though!

5. Have investments

Having good, low risk, long-term investments can be great for keeping your mind at ease (knowing you have money aside) and putting you on the path towards financial abundance. Investments can include things like shares, property, bonds or a mixture. Having a mixture of investments (known as diversifying) is better because it reduces the risk of losing your money. As the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket! Putting your money into a managed fund is an easy way to diversify.

6. Compare to find the best deals

Make sure you aren’t paying any more than you have to and are getting the best value for money for all of your financial and everyday consumer products. You can do that by using comparison websites such as CANSTAR – for financial products – and CANSTAR Blue – for everything from mobile phone plans to breakfast cereals!

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