Canadians weigh in on financial stress

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Does money cause you stress?

Apparently, it does. At least according to the recent Financial Stress survey conducted by the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC).

Canadians’ largest source of stress is financial. Financial stress ranks higher than other stress factors including health, work, and relationships.

Just over half (51 per cent) of those individuals surveyed are embarrassed about lacking control over their financial situation. This is a significant increase from a similar FPSC study in 2014, which showed 44 per cent.

Embarrassment about lack of financial control is more prevalent with younger Canadians and those who earn less than $80,000 annually.

One quarter of respondents felt pressure to keep up with friends’ or colleagues’ financial status. One half of millennials, near double the national average, felt pressured to keep up with others. I was surprised at this finding as millennials are a group that have difficulty finding meaningful employment and affordable housing.

Most people (83 per cent) had financial regrets. Regrets included wishing they had saved or invested more, purchased real estate, and in some cases completed more schooling.

Those are fairly significant statistics.

In my opinion, stress should be a call to action. If you have any type of financial stress then use that stress to motivate you to develop a financial plan.

What are your stresses? What can you do to eliminate them?

Make a plan yourself or speak to your financial adviser.

Regardless of the action you take, one thing should be clear; you are the person responsible to make this happen.

Reducing financial stress by developing a financial plan may involve leaving your comfort zone. Sometimes it is difficult to change your ways and adapt, but adaptability is a basic human characteristic.

Have the discipline to review your progress towards achieving your objectives on a regular basis.

Stress is harmful to both physical and emotional health. If you are one of the millions of Canadians who stresses over their finances, don’t wait for a crisis before taking action.

Go ahead and make a financial plan. Do it soon.