By Financial Planning Standards Council
They can seem to be inescapable—those vague (or not so vague) money worries that persistently clutter your mind.
You’re not alone in your anxiety. Research shows that most Canadians are worried about money, with 7 out of 10 saying they worry a lot about their financial situation. Women are more likely to worry than men and those in mid-life are more likely to worry than other age groups.
In fact, few things cause more all-encompassing uneasiness than money, whether it’s the need to get your debt under control, the monthly effort to make ends meet or the gnawing feeling that you’re running out of time for that trip you’ve always dreamed of. And those worries linger regardless of your income, according to Toronto-based Certified Financial Planner® professional and financial wellness expert Frank Wiginton.
Try Frank’s tips to combat your worries and rediscover a calm, confident approach to your money.
- Face facts: People tend to simply ignore things that stress them out. Don’t let fear become procrastination. Be proactive in addressing your concerns and you’ll be on your way to eliminating them.
- Get help: Many people worsen their stress because they’re too ashamed of their financial situation to get help, or they want to wait until they’re further ahead financially before they see a financial planner. Your planner has seen countless situations like yours and is there to help, not judge. Regardless of circumstances, a qualified financial planner can help you take charge and get back in control.
- Ask questions: Many people struggle with numbers and financial terminology, becoming intimidated by the subject or just zoning out. Don’t be afraid to ask your financial planner lots of questions. A good planner will make sure that every question is answered, that you understand what’s happening, and that you agree with what’s being recommended.
- Make it a family affair: Have an open discussion with your family about your financial concerns. Stress can be dramatically compounded by our efforts to hide our situation from others. You may be surprised at the support and helpfulness of the whole family once you’re all on the same page.
- Revisit and revise: Review your financial goals regularly to be sure your day-to-day activities are still aligned with your family’s short and long-term dreams.
Frank’s number one secret to financial success? “Knowing how much money you spend and where you spend it,” he says. “This will empower you to take control of your finances and make changes to reduce your stress.”
If you need a qualified professional to help you tackle your financial worries, FPSC’s Find a Planner or Certificant tool can put you in touch with someone in your area. Access additional resources here.