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Top tips for dealing with financial stress

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Money problems can often lead to stress. Recent research suggests 41 per cent of millennials are ‘chronically stressed’ about money.

With this in mind, and with National Stress Awareness Day soon approaching (Wednesday 4 November), Standard Life’s consumer finance expert Julie Hutchison details her five top tips for dealing with financial stress.

Talk about your finances

“In Britain, talking about money can seem a bit personal or even taboo, but it shouldn’t be. Whether it’s talking with a friend, family member, a financial adviser or Citizen’s Advice, chatting through your money worries can help you to cope with finance-related stress head-on and to come up with practical next steps. If you need to discuss a money issue, just do it, you’re likely to find it really helps.”

Set a budget

“Looking closely at your income and outgoings can help you identify your priorities as well as areas where you can cut back. Draw out a list of all your income and expenditure and look at where you could cut costs. You may be surprised about how good it feels to save some cash and thinking about ways it could be better spent (or saved!) elsewhere. You can find lots of useful budgeting tools online.”

Make the little things count

“Even making small changes in your day-to-day spending can start to improve your finances.  Whether it’s walking instead driving or taking public transport, bringing lunch into work, or not buying a morning coffee – the costs can all add up throughout the month. Cutting out your morning coffee run for example could provide a £767 sized boost to your finances over the course of a year.”

Understand your stress

“The NHS and Money Advice Service have partnered up to launch a Money Worries tool, which is designed to help people who are struggling with their finances take the first steps towards relieving the pressure. It includes a short test which assesses how money worries are affecting your health, followed by a tailored response from the Money Advice Service on how to get your finances back on track.”

Build-up an emergency fund

“I would recommend that once you’ve dealt with any immediate money worries you should start to save enough money to cover your essential living expenses every month. Having those savings in place can be a real weight off your mind. Try to save enough to get you through three months as a minimum. Then build that up to cover six months or more.”

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