When it comes to causes of stress, there’s one item at the top of most lists: money.
Now more than ever, overcoming financial strain is a major concern if you want to meet your wealth expectancy (the peak amount of money you aim to have at age 60).
Before the pandemic, our 2019 Wealth Expectancy Report found that people all over the world hoped to have a nest egg of USD1 million as they hit their sixties; but 58 per cent believed they would fall short by more than half.
By the time COVID-19 and the resulting economic downturn had taken hold, our 2020 consumer polls revealed that one in three were earning less; making achieving their dreams even more challenging.
However, even when times are tough, a positive mindset and positive actions can help to relieve the strain of financial stress, and help you reach your goals.
Being optimistic can help with decision making
Financial worries can distract you at work and even harm relationships. The more stressed you are, the harder it can be to think rationally — making financial decisions even tougher.
Amid a pandemic, it’s important not to let emotions cloud your judgement when making financial choices. Take a step back — or speak to someone you trust to get an outside perspective.
Don’t worry about things you can’t control
Market crashes and pandemics affect us all, but we can’t control them. What we can control is our reaction. Trying to be less disheartened and focusing on taking positive action can help. This includes consolidating debts, keeping tabs on your spending and making sure you have money aside for a rainy day.
Taking control and managing personal finances was important to respondents in our July 2020 poll series Future Money, with those in Kenya (93 per cent), Mainland China (85 per cent) and Malaysia (83 per cent) saying they wanted to manage their money better to make it go further.
The study of 12,000 adults across 12 markets found that 62 per cent of people believe the economic implications of COVID-19 had made them more likely to track their spending; while three quarters said the pandemic had made them think more carefully about how much they spend.
Be prepared to adapt to keep your financial hopes alive
In today’s turbulent times, an ability to adapt is key. Young people and those in emerging markets around the world who responded to our Future Money polls remained positive, despite the hit on their earnings. In fact 75 per cent of respondents aged 25-34 years old said they would consider setting up a second income stream, showing a willingness to adapt to reach their goals.
The next time you want to change your financial reality, remember an optimistic outlook is key. Combining a positive mindset with positive actions will help you achieve your goals.