Lifestyle

What Worries You Masters You

{Thank you to Capital One for sponsoring this post.}

In an era of self-help, the idea of taking control of one’s destiny and being mindful are constants. Which is a good thing, but for some people, these thoughts can add to a growing list of worries and become overwhelming. It can be a vicious cycle, but only if you let it.

When presented with a stressful situation, I try to make a conscious effort to not let my thoughts get out of control. I am one of those people who can immediately think of a worst-case scenario and then determine all the possible outcomes of that scenario. I’ve had to remind myself that worrying gets me nowhere, and that I need to work through a problem (and all those possible outcomes) and then leave it be. In other words, “I’ve addressed it, now I have to leave it.”

Mindfulness is key. We’re going to have worries, anxieties and life stresses – that can’t be helped – but if we learn to master those thoughts when they begin, and be more mindful, we can better deal with the issues as they arise.

Last month, for the 12th consecutive year, Capital One Canada and Credit Canada Debt Solutions (CCDS) partnered to celebrate Credit Education Week and raise awareness of financial literacy among Canadians. This year’s theme was focused on helping Canadians manage their stress and become more mindful, as it pertains to personal finance. Capital One Canada and Credit Canada fielded a survey to uncover Canadian sentiment towards finances, which revealed some interesting info about how Canadians are feeling.

According to the study, 44% of Canadians believe that their financial situation negatively impacts their mental health. The biggest financial stressor on Canadians’ mental health is their total debt load (31%), followed by affording essentials (20%).

But here’s the thing: that same study found that one in five Canadians (21%) would go to extremes to avoid reviewing their personal finances, including:
– Eating dinner with an ex-friend or ex-significant other (11%)
– Getting stung by a bee (7%)
– Sit through a root canal (6%)
– Sitting next to a sick passenger on a long-haul flight (4%)

Yikes! I realize looking at our financial situation can be awkward and uncomfortable, but it surprised me the lengths people would go to to avoid that experience. It doesn’t surprise me then that so many Canadians have debt that is mounting rather than subsiding – especially when we’re not willing to even look at the problem.

All is not lost, though, and that’s where Capital One Canada and Credit Canada come in! The idea of Money Mindfulness (it deserves capitals!) brings forward the thought that if we can address our financial situations in a realistic and mindful way, we can get a better handle on things before they get out of control. Worrying is natural – especially when it comes to finances. However, it’s important to use your time effectively. When you feel overwhelmed and stuck in a cycle of worrying, it may be time to get in touch with professionals who can help.

Tools like Capital One’s Credit Keeper can help you better understand credit and the importance of a healthy credit score to your overall financial health. Credit building programs from Credit Canada, designed to teach Canadians how to build or rebuild their credit and increase their credit score, are also a good resource.

I love credit card rewards programs and have managed to figure out a way to get the most benefit from them. Step one is always paying off my monthly balance! Credit cards offer many perks, but it’s important to use your card responsi3bly to reap all the benefits. If you’re consistently holding a balance on your card at the end of each month, take a step back, review your budget and see where you can find efficiencies.

Finally, talk to your family and friends if you’re feeling stressed about finances – don’t keep it a secret. One in four Canadians (26%) have hidden their financial situation from loved ones at some point, whether it’s by using credit to purchase something they couldn’t afford (11%), lying to avoid spending money (11%) or lying about their current financial situation (10%). Often times you’ll find that if you’re honest about the situation, your friends and family will have their own experiences to share, and perhaps some helpful advice.

61 Comments

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  • It’s extremely important for all families to be money mindful, stick to a budget based on income & expenses and avoid out of control spending that place you into debt.

  • My husband and I own our own business so finances involving that are definitely a source of stress. I am trying to be more honest with him when I am getting overwhelmed as I am the one who usually has to make the “money magic” happen.

  • I think money management should be taught from elementary school onward. Too many people have no idea how financial mistakes in youth can affect their futures.

  • A couple of years before we retired we concentrated our efforts on becoming debt free, with the exception of a car loan. I do use a credit card but only to take advantage of rewards. The balance is paid off immediately. By doing this and living within our means we are spending our retirement years with a lot less stress.

  • Good to be aware about your financial situation and treat it as soon as possible if applicable. Now is always a good time

  • I can definitely agree with the fact that it impacts our mental health! man can money ever be a bummer and place so much stress on you when you dont have enough of it or something unexpected happens…. like our washer that just broke over the weekend GAH! not good timing. thank you for sharing these tips

  • This is a great post, I actually had to declare bankruptcy when I was first put on disability, now that was a big hair pulling stressful time

  • This post is totally on point for this day & age. Everyone should be more mindful of their finances and other stressors as well

  • Just saw an article on a newsite that says we’ll pay $400 more for groceries next yr…UM NO we won’t because where on earth will $400 come from? Heaven? not likely…will my employer give me $400 more a year? NOT happening as they couldnt’ even give us any raises in 2018, not one penny, PLUS they took away the gift cards they used to give us twice a yr (once during summer and with our Christmas pay chq ) ..am I stressed? WELL of course I am.. money makes the world go round, although i’m sure young people will say its love

  • Learning to manage money is so important. It starts with controlling spending and teaching others in the family the same.

  • I hope children nowadays will learn how to be handle their finance in the future. I believe that parents must teach them how to spend wisely and learn how to save at an early age.

  • This is super important to remember to talk to others. Sometimes they have the right advice on how to budget and pay off bills, etc

  • Budget, follow it and always examine where your money is going. Your outflow simply cannot keep being more than your inflow.

  • This is an important post. We try to be conscious of our spending, and it’s a challenge sometimes to keep all the balls in the air.

  • As I get older, I am more mindful of money. Maybe it is experience, or learning that stuff is just stuff. I don’t stress the same way I used to.

  • It is crucial to be on top of your finances, it’s easy to overspend especially around the holidays. Great tips and advice!

  • I have also had anxiety about going over my finances, but a tool like the Capital One Credit Keeper could help alleviate some of this. Thanks for sharing.

  • As I get older and have friends, co-workers, and family members pass, I’ve come to realize that life is short. You can’t take it with you. I’m enjoying myself now and still have a bit of money socked away to pass on to loved ones. It’s way too easy for people, especially young people, to get into debt. As a parent, I’ve tried to teach my daughter about healthy spending habits and putting money away for “rainy days”.

  • Thanks for such a great post – we are not always aware of how much money we are spending until we open the bank statement.

  • Wow i didn’t know that coast capital savings had this type of week I know that another bank used to go to the elementary schools and open savings accounts for the young. My youngest daughter had this done fro her when she was in grade 1 I believe it was

  • It’s a hard path when you haven’t been taught money management, so I make sure to include my kids on any money discussions so hopefully they don’t make the same mistakes I did.

  • This is so true. In the first few years if our marriage, my hubby would get so upset if I tried to discuss finances with him. I ended up taking over paying most of our bills to decrease the incredible stress level we were both experiencing.

  • I think it’s really important to keep fluid. I remember thinking that money victories would happen during my daughter’s life stages. When she was potty trained and I didn’t have to purchase diapers. When she went to full time kindergarten and not having to pay preschool/full time day care fees. When she didn’t need after school care…Those were short-lived money victories, as kid’s get older they actually cost more! It’s important to have flexibility and to be conscious of spending throughout your life (and your child’s life).

  • I’m more stressed this year then most. This yr our company decided we werent worth a raise (and just yesterday I did 2.25 hrs of OT… ) They also took away the two gift cards they used to give us, one during the summer and one at Christmas to superstores…that provided the Christmas meal for my family… sad when a company takes away from its employees and gives nothing back

  • Money management is so important and it’s also important that you are your spouse are on the same page. It’s should be though at a very young age. My dad use to tell me all the time that money didn’t grow on trees.

  • This is so important especially with the bombardment of things we ‘need’.
    Trying to teach my kids to save and make goals for their saving.

  • so important to be mindful of spending habits and saving, I started talking to my young adult son while he was in school about money, now that he is working he actually took my advise and is managing so well, now working on teaching my daughter a few things.. she will be graduating in a couple years and never too young to learn!

  • It is important to share finances with your spouse and a bit with your children. Children don’t need to know the big details about your finances. Sitting down with them and explaining the only way you will be able to take a vacation this year is by cutting back to save for it gets them involved. You can draw up a plan of how much money you need and what needs to change to get there. It is a good life lesson for them.

  • It is so important for couples to discuss their finances and to be very mindful of their spending habits. My husband and I sit down quarterly just to see how we’re doing with our budgeting and such. It’s only for an hour or so but it keeps us conscious of what’s coming in and what’s going out. We both used to be impulse buyers but that stopped years ago because debt can become a problem very quickly. We nipped that in the butt really quickly.

  • One thing I always wished that I had learned about in school was managing money. A course about credit, budgeting, RESP and RRSPs would have been really useful for “real life”.
    I try my best to stick to a budget – especially around Christmas when it’s very easy to overspend. I’d rather review my finances then get stung by a bee!

  • I’ll have to check out their website and those tools! The holidays is a good time to think about money management!

  • I do believe that money woes can be very stressful….I also like the rewards that credit cards offer and I get my credit card working for me by getting some free groceries, or other merchandise from another credit card…we are very conscious of our money and try to pass the knowledge onto our son and his wife….sometimes I think it falls on deaf ears….

  • Wow! I’m surprised by that survey. I would love to go over my finances with an advisor so I guess I’m part of the 79%.

  • It is important of course but many families don’t eat out they have more stress with paying their rent and choosing between groceries or rent. The cost of living is terribly high in canada and when I was younger 15 years ago I could go to the grocery store and get a cart full of groceries for $20 bucks that doesn’t happen now. Many Canadians live in poverty and that needs to change. In my aprtment new tenants have to pay the increase on $400 per one bedroom that’s $1300 for one bedroom for an old building it’s not even new plus hydro minimum wage has increased yet but people are kept down in the high costs of rent.

  • It is stressful – I know every year my expenses go up and my wage does not. It really makes me review what I am spending and it worries me to actually look at the numbers! I do know though that I NEED to look for my own well being

  • I’m always on a budget and I’m teaching my kids as well. They get money for Christmas and instead of going and spending it on the first thing they see they put it in the bank, sometimes for over 2 years until there is something they really really want. Then they can get it themselves.

  • I think this is super important especially at this time of year where people tend to way overspend for 1 day of the year & then suffer in debt after Christmas. We have scaled way back on gifts to save money & be mindful.

  • We have been using ideas from financial folks to save for our retirement and to choose credit cards that have bonuses that are suitable for our spending.

  • My husband’s parents taught him how to manage money very well and my parents taught me decent money skills too so we don’t have a tough time with it.
    It’s surprising that people would rather go through something like a root canal to avoid talking about it!

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