Pressure from all sides means the financial landscape is difficult to predict and you might fear that even carefully laid plans could begin to unravel. Stress and uncertainty can take a toll on your health, relationships and self-esteem.

We don’t have a window into the future so we can’t tell you how things will unfold over the coming months or years, but these tips can help you to feel more relaxed about not knowing what the future may bring.

Dealing with financial uncertainty

Negativity bias

We interpret anything that causes us stress as a threat to our survival. While it’s been a successful strategy, it’s left us with a tendency to focus on the negative side of a situation. Step back and take a moment to consider the best possible outcome. What opportunities does change bring?

Talk to someone

Worry can easily run out of control when you keep it to yourself. Research suggests that talking about a problem reduces anxious and overwhelming feelings. You don’t necessarily need to talk someone who can solve things. You can discover a fresh perspective for yourself, just by talking out loud about the situation and how you’re feeling. Talk it over with your partner, close family or friends. Or you might prefer talking to a professional, like the ones at CABA. Remember, you’re not the only one going through this.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness techniques have been shown to improve the way that we handle difficult emotions and situations. Just like you have physical habits, you also have thinking habits. Mindfulness encourages you to notice the present without judgement or criticism. The practice can help turn around thinking unhelpful habits.

Turn off and manage stress

It’s difficult to make good decisions when you’re feeling stressed. Take a news break. Rolling news can quickly spiral out of control. Set aside a limited time each morning, to catch up on the information you need to know. Remember to make time for activities to reduce stress like gardening, exercising, reading or being creative too.

Focus on what you can control

Accepting uncertainty can be difficult when you pride yourself on being independent and organised. Making conscious choices can help you to regain your sense of control wherever you can. Healthy routines create stable anchors in your day as an antidote to uncertainty. 

Fit finances for uncertain times

Audit

  • Check your bank statement and review all standing orders and direct debits to check that they are still needed
  • Reduce your bills by searching out the best deals for utilities and insurance
  • Compare and switch to better savings and borrowing rates where possible
  • If you can, pay off debt to reduce monthly outgoings
  • Shop around for the best deals on everyday items

Plan

  • Write down all your income and expenses and talk it over with your partner or spouse
  • Set a realistic monthly budget together
  • Agree a time to review your progress and what action is needed to stay on track
  • Pay attention to early warning signs. It’s far easier and less stressful to get things sorted out sooner rather than wait. If it looks like you’ll be under financial pressure, or you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, get in touch with CABA and we can help you take back control.

Read more in our article - How to test your financial resilience in a covid-19 world

CABA provides free lifelong support to past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, ICAEW staff, and their close family members. 

We have a range of services to support your financial resilience including benefits advice, legal information and UK debt management, find out more by contacting us today. 

If you’re worried about the impact of the coronavirus on you and your family, find out how CABA can support you.