We are right at the middle of the first quarter of 2022 and you are probably still very energised by the motivation to start the year on a clean slate (it’s not too late).
But with more than ten months left to plan for, you may be under increased pressure to better manage expenses, increase your income and get ahead of your bills. Even the ups and downs of trying to make a living during Covid-19 and the upheavals it has brought can cause you to question your financial preparedness. Will I really make it?
Running thoughts about your financial health can become overwhelming especially when solutions are not very clear leading to financial fatigue.
Fatigue is used to describe a feeling of lack of energy or tiredness. If you are fatigued, you do not have the motivation or energy to start or continue doing what you need to be doing.
Financial fatigue is experiencing that exact feeling about your finances. One becomes so overwhelmed by their financial situation that all efforts to move ahead look futile. One may end up giving up entirely or even reverting to unhealthy financial habits.
Financial fatigue can also lead to withdrawal from other people, lead to the use of drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism, and in some cases, lead to self-harm.
Someone who is employable and actively seeking a job but is unable to find one is considered unemployed.
When one is unemployed for a long time, they can become financially fatigued since financial demands exist with or without financial stability. The effort to meet these demands can drain someone and leave them financially fatigued.
Debt is a financial obligation that one party owes to another. Many businesses and individuals borrow money to make major expenditures they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford.
In a debt agreement, a borrower gets the money on the condition that it is repaid at some point in the future with interest, typically. When repaying debt becomes tedious and challenging, the debtor can become financially fatigued.
Debt fatigue is especially experienced when in the course of repaying a loan, a big portion goes towards interest while the overall debt amount owed fails to appear to lessen at the same rate as the payments are being made.
This can cause someone to either stop repaying their loans or even start overspending and ignoring their budgets.
This is when an employer initiates the termination of employment for an employee. While this should ideally be done without prejudice to the employee, the dismissal means that the employee has lost their source of income. Having to deal with this loss can cause financial fatigue as one seeks to close the financial gaps they experience with the job loss.
Layoffs have been happening across industries in the country for the last two years since the onset of Covid-19. It is possible that even some double-income households were left without a source of livelihood.
Sudden job loss, and in extension, sudden loss of livelihood as experienced by many small business owners who had to shut down during the era of lockdowns, can be very devastating and feel impossible to come out of.
Financial fatigue, from its definition above, is a situation in which someone has lost all energy and motivation to deal with their financial challenges.
Just like a factory worker may feel drowsy and sleepy after a 10-hour shift, a financially fatigued person wants to switch off and would rather not deal with the things causing him financial stress.
This could range from poor budgeting, a wrong business move, losing a large sum of money, to legal issues, delayed shipments, family medical emergencies, and every other personal financial issue that may make one feel unable to control.
If you are having to deal with financial fatigue or trouble managing your finances, there are a variety of options available to adopt. You may consider some of the following towards your financial wellbeing goals.
Getting organised is the best defense against being overburdened. Take a look at how much money you are spending and on what. Take a deep dive and review your invoices, bank account balances, and credit card statements to gain a comprehensive understanding of your financial situation.
To deal with financial fatigue, you can consider starting with a budget and setting spending limits.
If you're not in the habit of adhering to a budget and setting spending guidelines, it's time to find a solution that works. You may get a wealth of information on how to create a simple budget from a variety of sources online and financial advisors.
It doesn't have to be anything more complicated than figuring out how much money you bring in and how much you spend each month. You can examine the restrictions and boundaries you want to place on various types of spending.
If there is a way you can make savings, then get started right away. Start putting some money aside as soon as possible for the high-cost items in your budget.
You can experiment with a variety of ways that employ both cash and digital tools to keep track of your savings efforts. If you can get into the habit of paying yourself first, you may not notice that money is being saved.
How do you handle credit in terms of spending and repayments? To ensure that you remain in the safe zone to keep easily accessing credit, you can improve your score by making your repayments on time.
To do this, you can consider having an automatic repayment system which will always credit your lenders in good time. You can also maintain old bank accounts instead of opening new ones since the old ones have your credit history.
Online expenditure is another category to look into. Shoppers are increasingly shopping online since it is easy and convenient.
Keep in mind the marketing efforts and consider messaging used by corporations to persuade you to make purchases. Be careful of limited-time offers which may lead you to spend compulsively. Also, be aware of tiered discounts and bundles since each one of these tactics is designed to get you to spend more money in the guise of affordability.
Consider shifting money from one budget category to another.
The breakthrough will only come if you are honest with yourself about your spending habits and are open to making the changes that you need to.
Financial fatigue is a burden that messes with the economic wellbeing of many if left unchecked.
With the pandemic, there was a kind of a reset where some people moved from thinking about retirement to finding a way to survive. Short-term financial needs meant that long-term planning was sacrificed.
In such instances, consider the resources that will help you plan. These could be a professional financial advisor where possible or just getting a budgeting app. Whichever way, the target is to make life bearable under the circumstances.