The past year has seen more Brits than ever before dealing with unprecedented financial uncertainty. Consequently many are struggling with financial anxiety, an issue that could be affecting up to 30% of the population.
That is according to a newly published report from Shawbrook Bank, which also suggests that almost 60% of Brits find the language used in bridging loan applications and financial documents difficult to understand.
Following the poll, Shawbrook Bank published a series of five helpful guidelines to help individuals and households cope with financial anxiety. With economic uncertainty predicted to perpetuate for some time to come, each of the following could prove invaluable for those already worrying about their financial situation:
- Make a budget and stick to it
The key to financial stability lies in creating a viable budget and sticking to it. This means taking stock of exactly how much money is coming in and going out of your accounts each month. It also means separating ‘wants’ from ‘needs’ with the aim of eliminating as many unnecessary outgoings as possible.
Creating a formal budget can be daunting and time consuming, but can also be a highly insightful and productive process.
- Learn more about finance
For some, the key to overcoming financial anxiety could be as simple as getting to know their financial situation a little better. This could involve taking a look at your credit score, reviewing your outstanding mortgage balance, checking how much you are currently paying interest on credit cards and so on.
This can be a great way of determining whether it may be possible to save money by switching providers. If you think you are overpaying on any of your current financial products, consider transferring them elsewhere.
- Consult with a broker
An obligation-free consultation with a bridging finance broker could likewise pave the way for significant savings. Present an established broker with an overall picture of your financial situation and have them conduct a full search of the market on your behalf.
If there are more affordable options available than your current products, they will find them and help you switch as promptly and painlessly as possible.
- Start building an emergency fund or a buffer
Even the smallest financial safety net is better than no safety net at all. It is impossible to achieve a sense of financial confidence if you have nothing to fall back on in an emergency. Even if funds are thin on the ground, it is still important to at least start building an emergency buffer at the earliest possible stage.
Backup funds can negate the need for seeking short-term financial assistance should the unexpected occur, which is often a costly option that can lead to further debt.
- Shop around and research
There may be financial products and services available that are more suitable for your current circumstances. For example, an affordable consolidation loan can be far more cost-effective than covering numerous loan payments, credit card payments, overdraft payments and so on.
Consulting with a broker will help you build an understanding of the products available, which could save you money. Individuals with poor credit in particular may find broker support invaluable.
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