FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOUR FINANCES
Getting on top of your money
Do you feel like you’re in control of your spending, debt, or regular financial in and outgoings?
Research from National Australia Bank (NAB) has revealed that for 26% of Australians getting on top of their finances is their top priority. It’s not surprising financial security is one of the top factors which can impact our personal wellbeing.
Financial safety can bring freedom and confidence, which is a valuable part of maintaining positive mental wellbeing.
According to the Australian Government’s Head to Health, some signs that financial stress is affecting your mental wellbeing include:
- Arguing with the people closest to you about money
- Having trouble sleeping
- Feeling angry or fearful
- Mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Withdrawing from others
Seeking support to address financial issues can prevent prolonged impact on a person’s mental wellbeing.
How finance impacts our wellbeing
Managing your money can give you financial freedom to make choices that allow you to enjoy life.
Personal finances are among the top causes of stress for Australians.
The top five causes of stress:
- Personal finances
- Family issues
- Personal health
- Trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Issues with the health of others close to us
The subsequent strain of these can affect our mood, decision-making and daily behaviour.
The Australian Psychological Society research has found people who report higher levels of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression or distress can be more likely to undertake risky behaviours.
According to Verywell Mind, risk-taking behaviour may give people the feeling that they have more control over their circumstances.
Some examples of this include gambling, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol and taking recreational drugs.
While many people make goals to ‘be better with money’ – few know what resources are available to assist with money management.
10 steps to boost your financial wellbeing
1. Spend less than you earn
Use your banking app to monitor your spending before you start shopping. Consider saving any non-essential shopping for another time.
2. Take control of your newsfeeds
It’s easy to buy an item you’ve been considering when it repeatedly pops up with a discount or offer. Instead of clicking the ad, mark it as irrelevant or hide the seller.
3. Unsubscribe from mailing lists
It’s easy to spend more when you receive a promotional email from your favourite brand. Consider unsubscribing so you stop receiving regular updates.
4. Create a budget that works for you
Ask yourself, what money is coming in? How much do I spend on essentials? And how much is left over, and where does it go? Focus on where your left over money goes and if you’re not saving, then consider reducing your spending.
5. Build an emergency fund
Put away money every month to build up funds for when you’re dealing with unexpected costs. Experts say you should aim to save enough to cover 3-6 months’ worth of expenses.
6. Save for the things you want
Saving for non-essentials that you want is a great way to build a positive spending habit. Start by setting up a savings goal in your banking app with automated payments into a savings account.
7. Consolidate your debts
If you want to consolidate your debts, speak to your bank for financial advice or contact the National Debt Helpline.
8. Speak to your workplace employee wellness program
If your money matters are bringing you down, check with your employee wellness program to see how they can support you.
9. Engage a financial counsellor
If you are on a low income or struggling with bills and debt, a financial counsellor can assist you and advise you on what to do. These free services are offered by not-for-profit organisations.
10. Get a better deal
Take the time to see how cost effective your current services are, and what you’re using, can help you see where you could save more money. You can do this by changing your plan or switching to another provider, e.g. utilities, phone, health insurance, car insurance and roadside assistance etc.
If you have been impacted by hardship, natural disaster or COVID-19 there are free resources and services available.
There are a range of services available for individuals, business owners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, farmers along with rural and regional businesses.
- National Debt Helpline – 1800 007 007
- Mob Strong Helpline – 1800 808 488
- Small Business Debt Helpline – 1800 413 828
- Rural Financial Counselling Service
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help now, call triple zero (000).
For support, contact 24/7 mental health services:
- Lifeline – 13 11 14
- BeyondBlue – 1300 22 4636
- Suicide Call Back Service – 1300 659 467
- Kids Helpline – for young people aged 5-25 – 1800 55 1800
- Open Arms – Veterans and families – 1800 011 046
- Mensline – 1300 78 99 78
- Financial wellbeing ahead of travel when it comes to new year resolutions – NAB
- Stress and wellbeing How Australians are coping with life – Australian Psychological Society
- Factors associated with risk-taking behaviour – Verywell Mind
- Finances – Head to Health