Every family out there is different, and we ought not to compare ourselves to others. But truth be told, single-income families can lead to a heightened amount of pressure on that sole breadwinner.
Carrie Casden, financial wellness coach and president of Summit Financial Management, said, “Quite often, feelings of fear and anxiety stem from… simply perceiving that we’re out of control of our circumstances, and these sentiments can be particularly prevalent when it comes to single-income families.”
Want to take better control of your mind and financials? Here’s how single-income families can cope with financial anxieties, according to the experts.
Reorder your priorities
Casden noted that families usually have quite a few financial goals they’re aiming for, and that’s okay. However, if there isn’t enough income to put a checkmark beside the various aims, one must learn how to make changes.
Reorder your priorities by keeping in view the items lowest on the list. You can always come back and reassess your financials every quarter of the year.
Be aware of your money views
To review your financial anxieties, it’s essential that you’re aware of your views towards money. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are you cripplingly frugal or overzealous with spending?
- Does a “spend too much” or “don’t make enough” mindset bother you?
- Do you tend to avoid talking about money because they make you uneasy?
“There are different ways to reduce anxiety based on the actual issues at hand, which is why I work with clients to help them identify their specific money archetypes to understand the origin of their anxieties and behaviours around money,” said Casden.
Develop a spending plan and track your outputs
Ann James, an accredited financial counsellor and CEO of Financial Freedom Battle Buddies, recommends single-income families develop a spending plan. This will allow individuals to have a sense of control over their money and, in turn, reduce frustrations associated with the unknown.
When it comes to tracking outputs, some of us are experts with the excel sheet. But Dr Elizabeth Dunn, PhD, a happiness researcher, advises us to focus on how purchases make one feel.
“What purchases bring your family joy and which lead to feelings of regret or sadness? Maybe a long and expensive dinner out did not end up saving anyone time, and the regret over spending all of that money on one meal was not worth the spend. But your Hulu or Netflix subscription means the entire family can have a movie night together once a week, and that brings joy to the entire family,” she added.
If you’ve tried the above methods but can’t seem to get around the stress from worrying about money, ask for help.
“Seeking assistance from accredited financial counsellors, credit or housing counsellors, or financial therapists can help alleviate feelings of shame and ultimately reframe an individual’s thoughts and relationships with money,” advised James.
Do you know that the Singapore Counselling Centre offers Financial & Debt Counselling? Or you can also book a 1-to-1 Credit Counselling Session with Credit Counselling Singapore. Click through the links to find out more.