Financial Fitness

Stressed About Finances? Take Back Control with These 5 Steps

Financial Stress: Woman meditating in front of laptop computer.

Stop me if you’ve heard any of these questions before:

  • How much money will you need to live well in retirement? What’s your “magic number?”
  • What percentage of your paycheck are you saving?
  • If you were to lose your main source of income, how long could you live off savings and what would you do next?
  • Should you refinance any of your loans to get a better rate and save more money?
  • Who’s running this budget anyway?!

It feels like there’s a new financial question for every leaf that falls in autumn. If you are feeling stressed about your finances, you are not alone.

The 2017 Workplace Benefits Report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch lists some harrowing figures:

  • More than half (53%) of employees admitted that financial stress interferes with their ability to focus and be productive at work – 67% for Millenial respondents!
  • 64% of employees are worried about running out of money in retirement
  • 43% of employees spend three or more hours each week working on personal financial matters at work

Our financial anxiety doesn’t stay home when we go to work. It affects how well we do our jobs. It affects how well we relate with our families at home. It permeates every aspect of our lives.

5 Steps To Cutting Your Stress Over Money

But it’s not all bad. As the study shows, there are steps we can take right now to improve our financial outlook.

  1. Focus on paying down your debt. Whether it’s from student loans, credit cards, cars, housing or anything else, the plan for debt is always the same. Pay it down as soon as possible! Visit our Financial Life Minutes to learn how.
  2. Save for retirement. Explore IRA options, as well as your company’s 401(k) program. If your company matches your contributions, make sure you are putting in at least as much as they will match every paycheck. If you’re younger, take advantage of time and start saving early.
  3. Schedule a regular financial review (for example, monthly, annually, every 6 months). A full 50% of study respondents said they would more actively manage their financial situation if they had a regularly scheduled financial review.
  4. Create a personal action plan for your finances. Forty nine percent of respondents said this would lead them to take a more active role in managing their finances. A great way to do this is to meet with a financial advisor and get expert advice tailored to your specific goals.
  5. Stay physically active. There are few things that naturally fight stress as well as physical activity. It clears your mind, balances your emotions, even strengthens your immune system. Even adding a 5 minute walk each day makes a big difference!

Remember, there’s no getting around these questions. The only way to make them go away is to go through them. Start today, we at Unitus are here to help.


Posted By: Jacob Schnee

About the Author: Jacob joined Unitus as Marketing Specialist in March 2015 and transitioned to Marketing Communications Specialist in March 2017. His experience has spanned hospitality, business development, consulting, and marketing in various industries along the east coast, west coast and in between. When he is not developing internal and external communications for Unitus, he is engaging in recreational fitness, studying personality types and exploring the outdoors with his wife and dog.

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