Don’t feel like you’re working for money you never see.
Rising costs are placing a lot of strain on many South African consumers, with those who are over-indebted being worse off. Add to that rising costs and it’s not hard to see why many are affected by depression.
Don’t let money affect your mental health
Statistics from the South African Depression and Anxiety Group for those who suffer from mental conditions are as follows: some six million South Africans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, roughly 8 000 South Africans commit suicide each year, and compared with 14 other countries, South Africa ranks second for substance abuse. According to Ester Ochse, channel head FNB Financial Advisory, ‘These statistics alone are sufficient to heighten anxiety levels, and if you are also experiencing personal financial pressure then your stress levels can, understandably, result in depression, impacting on your home and work lives.’
However, by taking control of your personal spending patterns, financial behaviour and planning, each and every South African can at least soften the impact of external pressures and influences on matters relating to money management.
If you’re constantly worried about mounting debt, and have over-extended yourself in terms of monthly financial responsibilities, then your stress will be significantly higher than that of someone working towards a budget who has an emergency fund and goal-based financial plans.
Tackle money problems head on
If financial circumstances are severe, a certified debt counsellor can and should be consulted, but ideally you should confront the situation early enough to make lifestyle and spending changes that work immediately. Just taking these proactive steps helps to reduce anxiety, which improves your state of mind and allows you to think rationally about your financial situation.
‘You cannot confront financial pressures and put in place ways to curb debt unless you first admit that you have a problem,’ says Ochse, noting that if you’re in this situation, you’re not alone.
The National Credit Regulator reports that 10 million South Africans are under pressure to meet their monthly debt repayments. While history tells us that tough economic conditions don’t persist indefinitely, the stress they cause during down cycles can be both mentally and financially devastating. When times are challenging, confronting problems head on is a brave step to improving your state of mind and wrestling control of a difficult situation. A professional financial planner can help you get your finances in a healthy state for improved wellness.