Financial trauma is not peculiar to Nigeria! It’s a challenge people face in all economies across the world. Unfortunately, it’s rampart in this part of the world.
With the rising cost of living and unemployment problems, Nigerians are feeling the crunch of financial stress. Experts say this is pretty significant because financial stress is linked to health problems like depression and sleep problems. They say anxiety over money can negatively affect health in several ways-
Unhealthy coping behaviours
People experiencing financial stress can be more likely to numb their anxiety by drinking, smoking, overeating and practicing other unhealthy coping behaviours. This in turn leads to more stress.
When under financial stress, people often experience trouble sleeping, which can add up to a sleep deficit, impairing immune functioning and cognitive abilities, causing additional moodiness, and more.
Make a list of expenses
Much of financial stress stems from the fact that people often don’t know how much money they’re spending. They go through life blindly paying for this and that without any conscious thought. It’s no wonder so many people are financially stressed. Not knowing whether your pay check will last to the end of the month is scary. That’s why you must make a list of expenses and become aware of your spending habits. Write down absolutely everything you spend money on.
Decide which expenses can be cut or reduced
You’ll notice that not all of your expenses are necessary. For example, you may look at your grocery bill and realise half of your bill is convenience/junk food. Many of your expenses can be cut or reduced by doing things for yourself. Instead of buying pizza every Friday night, make it at home. Excessive materialism brings very temporary satisfaction and contradictorily causes long term stress.
Talk to your family about the new budget
Financial stress can become worse when there are other people involved. It doesn’t have to though. The main reason people fight over finances is because they aren’t open and honest about them. Taking time to sit down with your spouse to talk about the money coming in versus what’s going out can help reduce stress.
Look for ways to earn extra income
Extra money coming into the house is always a good thing. Even if the amount is small, the money can be used to help cover your expenses. If you still have a job, but your hours have been reduced, consider online work. You may be able to make enough money writing or programming to pay a few of your bills.