Tips to deal with the health impacts of financial stress
If financial stress is impacting your health and relationships, here are some tips to help you through this difficult time:
- Stay on top of your emotions — Write down your worries to help you work out which issues to tackle first.
- Look after your health — Eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise regularly. Talk to your doctor if you have a pre-existing medical condition that could be aggravated by stress.
- Share your feelings with supportive friends and colleagues — Identify people you can talk to about how you are feeling and who will help you remain positive.
- Be honest with your family — Tell them about the situation and how it might affect the household budget. If your relationship with your partner is under stress, contact Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277 for support, advice and counselling.
- Draw up a budget — Write down a summary of your finances and work out how much money you need to cover your costs. You may need to limit your spending for a while. Putting aside some money for bills, creating an emergency fund and paying for essentials first can all help ease the stress.
- Contact your bank — Most financial institutions have policies in place to assist customers experiencing financial problems. The Australian Bankers’ Association website has lots of information about dealing with banks.
- Contact a social worker on the Centrelink Employment Services Line — Call 132 850 or visit a Services Australia customer service centre.
Tips to deal with job loss
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help — There are lots of services that provide everything from emergency relief if you’re in crisis to emotional and practical support. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s (ASIC)
- MoneySmart website lists a range of organisations that can assist you through difficult times.
- The Askizzy website is also very helpful, with over 370,000 support services. From financial support, to housing, food, everyday items, domestic and family violence support, healthcare, Counselling, the list is endless. https://askizzy.org.au
- Assess your financial situation — Work out how much money you have and how long it will last. You may have to change your spending habits until you get back on your feet. Try not to use your credit card, because the high interest rate and repayments can add to your financial stress in the long run.
- Find out about your entitlements — These may depend on your circumstances and some benefits have waiting periods, so contact Services Australia as soon as you can.
- Contact your bank or financial institution if you owe them money — You may need to discuss different repayment options.
- Contact your superannuation fund — You may be able to access your superannuation early or access benefit entitlements if you are retrenched.
Other Support services:
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
- DirectLine Victoria drug/alcohol counselling on 1800 888 236
- MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
- Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
- Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
- Headspace on 1800 650 890
- ReachOut at au.reachout.com