If you’re stressed about your financial situation, if you’re worried about covering your expenses from week to week and month to month, if you’re fretting about your employment status or about finding work after losing your job, if you’re concerned about your health and anxious about what the future holds, you are not alone.
Pervasive feelings of concern, worry, stress and anxiety have accompanied the coronavirus outbreak. And for many people the source of these feelings goes well beyond financial issues, observes CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professional and Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) member Susan Mitcheltree, partner at Berman McAleer, a wealth management firm in Timonium, Md.
“We thought we had certainty about so many things in our lives, and now that veil of certainty has been lifted,” she explains. “Now I think people realize how drastically life can change in a very short period of time. That can be anxiety-producing.”
Anxiety about finances, health and the like can indeed produce a sense of inertia, an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness that can lead to inaction, Mitcheltree adds. “Having uncertainty on so many levels can make it hard for a person to move forward.” That inaction can cause a person to lose a grip on their day-to-day financial responsibilities and lose sight of their big-picture financial goals. “You actually fall behind by staying still.”
At least on the household finances front, taking aim at the potential sources of financial anxiety with modest but meaningful steps is key to relieving the pressure and maintaining a firm handle on your finances. Among the steps that Mitcheltree and other CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional members of FPA suggest taking in pursuit of that relief: