Editorial | How to avoid financial stress

By Kerryn Lancaster, Senior Relationship Manager – Corporate Superannuation, Australian Unity

Financial stress. We all face varying degrees at some point in our lives. Whether we like it or not, a lot of our life goals revolve around our ability to manage our finances effectively.

With 59% of Australians admitting their current financial situation causes them angst*, dealing with financial stress is as important as looking after your physical and mental health.

So what can you do to prevent financial stress in your own life?

Budget

It may seem obvious, but just under half (49%) of us have less than $10,000 in cash savings, including about a quarter of Australians with less than $1,000^. Given 15% of Australia’s homelessness is derived from financial difficulties, it is a real, and quite scary, issue.

However, there are many helpful tools out there to help you manage your day-to-day spending habits and overall budget management – and you don’t even have to open an Excel spreadsheet.

These tools include: Pocketbook, MoneyBrilliant, Spendee and Moneytree. All are available on the App Store and Google Play.

Tracking what you spend

A staggering 86% of the Australian population doesn’t know how much money they are spending each month*. By tracking where you spend your money, you can clearly see where you are spending on unnecessary items. Some helpful apps you can use include: Your own financial institutions app, trackmyspend and Free2Spend.

Easy tips to save money

We all know the usual tips and tricks – bring lunch and don’t buy; walk if you can instead of taking public transport ­ – but it’s also worth taking things a step further:

  • You will be surprised how much you can save by swapping your favorite brands for lower-cost providers.
  • Avoid the ‘set and forget’ trap and set a time each year to review your bills (phone, internet, gas/electricity/insurance). You can save more than you think just by putting time aside to compare your options. Plus, there are always discounts and offers you can take advantage of.

Speak to a financial adviser

There’s never been a better time to find a financial adviser to partner with you for your financial wellbeing. It’s a myth that you must have a big account to warrant seeking advice from a professional adviser. They can help with all your insurances (business, income, risk), tax maximisation strategies, and long and short-term investment strategies. They can also help you prepare for key milestone events such as maternity leave, part-time employment, job loss, transitioning to retirement, full retirement, estate planning, and more.

About Australian Unity

Australian Unity is a health, wealth and living organisation providing products and services designed to help people thrive. More than one million Australians have created a bright future with us. Our businesses span operations providing healthcare, financial services, and retirement and living services, employing more than 7,500 people across Australia.

At Australian Unity, we make superannuation easy for you by providing a dedicated, experienced corporate superannuation account manager to keep you up to speed with legislation and guide your superannuation decision making.

How do you compare on Australian Unity’s Wellbeing Index?

The Australian Unity Personal Wellbeing Index tool offers a simple test for those wanting to measure their wellbeing. Using markers including satisfaction with health, personal relationships, standard of living and sense of community, the tool computes an individual’s wellbeing score and advises if it is in the normal range for Australians. The tool also offers general advice if an individual’s personal wellbeing score is outside the normal range, and further advice about which areas of wellbeing may be an issue for individuals. Take the Wellbeing Index Survey

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