Navigating Financial Stress: Tools and Strategies for a Secure Future

8o May 2024

Virtually everyone would admit to feeling some level of financial stress at some point in their lives. However, with the cost-of-living crisis ongoing and the lasting impact of high inflation continuing to impact people’s lives, that stress is even more widespread. Over a quarter (27%) of Britons experience financial stress every single day, according to Perkbox.

And it’s not going away. Recent increases in the cost of household bills such as energy and water mean that many will see their disposable incomes take another knock, while others will find themselves dipping into their savings to get by.

The good news is that tools and resources are available to help you overcome any financial stress you might be feeling. First, let’s explore the benefits of having a savings buffer and the comfort of having a financial plan.

The benefits of saving and the importance of planning

One of the main causes of financial stress is insecurity—not knowing that you have enough money to cover any impromptu emergencies or a salary reduction, for example. Taking steps to build a pot of cash to fall back on should the worst happen can bring a sense of calmness. This means finding a savings product that works for your situation.

Investing in savings accounts can provide both good returns and added peace of mind. Short-term savings products such as easy access accounts may offer slightly lower interest rates than the fixed-term market, but the fact that you can access your money anytime can be a financial weight off your shoulders.

On the other hand, fixed-term offerings allow you to lock any spare cash away in an account that is likely to offer the best rates over a longer term. This can also make planning more straightforward, as you know exactly what returns you’ll receive at the end of your savings term.

To make the most of these opportunities and achieve your goals, you must create a plan to give yourself the best chance. Whether you want to save money for a wedding or purchase a house or car, a plan can ensure you stay on track with your goals.

It’s all well and good to have a plan to ease your worries, but how can you action it? Here are some tools and resources you can use to bring it to life.

The tools and resources built to help

The first place you can start is to make the most of the financial education resources many banks and charities offer. For example, Citizens Advice offers free educational opportunities and advice online, such as articles on how to budget and get help with the cost of living, both over the phone and in person. Having resources such as this helps you grow your knowledge, leading to more well-reasoned and confident decisions.

Budgeting tools are another good way to keep on top of your finances, reassuring you that you aren’t overspending and remain on track to fulfil your financial goals. Many banks now offer apps that provide budgeting tools that include interactive charts, spending information based on category and real-time notifications.

Make the most of the help available

Navigating the current economic landscape can feel like jumping one hurdle after another, bringing additional financial stress. However, there are tools and resources available to ease the burden.

While the road is still rocky, and further bumps may be ahead, you can set yourself up for a hassle-free financial future by taking proactive steps and utilising the tools at your disposal.