Stressed about money? Here are a few ways to keep calm and save

Financial stress has been bearing down on everyday Aussies since the start of the cost-of-living crisis began. In fact, recently released data from Industry super fund Aware Super has found that 86% of Australians have gone into 2024 worried about the effect of the cost-of-living crisis.

How financial stress can impact you

Financial stress isn't just about money, it's about how it affects our peace of mind and quality of life. We’re generally told that money can’t buy happiness, but a lack of cash can lead to its own problems.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Carly Reid notes that financial worries can spiral into significant distress which can include negative self-talk, feeling overwhelmed, and out of control. That’s why tackling financial goals is important not just for economic reasons, but for our overall well-being.

First, let’s work on easy ways to improve your approach to financial goals. Then, with some goals in place, we offer some specific ideas around saving, cutting costs and handling debts. 

Make your financial goals work: Embracing the KISS Principle 

Aware Super’s Group Executive Member Growth, Steve Travis suggests

the 'Keep it Smart and Simple' (KISS) approach. By breaking down our financial goals into manageable steps, we can move from being overwhelmed to being in control.

Setting SMART Financial Goals

  • Specific: Clearly define what you want to achieve. Whether it's reducing debt or saving for a house, specificity is key.
  • Measurable: Attach numbers to your goals. Instead of vaguely wanting to save more, aim to save a specific amount each month.
  • Achievable: Set realistic goals. If paying off all debt this year seems daunting, focus on one credit card at a time.
  • Relevant: Align your goals with your financial situation. 
  • Timely: Set deadlines. A goal without a timeline is just a dream. Aim to achieve certain milestones by specific dates.

Practical Steps to Financial Wellbeing 

While goal setting is an important step, there are some practical steps you can take to improve your financial situation. Some of these include: 

  • Budgeting: Begin with a simple budget. Track your expenses and income, and identify areas where you can cut back.
  • Debt Management: Tackle high-interest debts first. Consider debt consolidation loans to simplify payments and reduce interest rates.
  • Savings Plan: Start small if necessary. Regular contributions to a savings account, even if modest, can compound over time.
  • Superannuation Focus: Don't overlook your super. Small additional contributions now can make a significant difference in retirement.

If you want to better manage your money, then making sure you have a bank account with great features (like budgeting and round up) is important. You can check out some of the top bank account providers on our hub page or compare some of the accounts in the table below…   

Bank account comparisons on Mozo - last updated 15 April 2024

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