Earlier this year, an East African Mutual study revealed that 87% of Kenyan adults suffer from money-related anxiety. During the two-year period of research, more than one-third of Kenyans opened up about their growing worries surrounding money.
So, why do people experience financial anxiety?
The study indicated that money-related issues like living in debt forever, living payday-to-payday, serious illness, financial emergency, financial fraud, overwhelming debt, and retirement are the leading causes of anxiety.
According to Joyce Nduta, the Vice Chairperson of Mombo SACCO in Kenya, the worry around money is perhaps one of the hardest fears to discuss. That is why many people bury their heads in the sand and hope for the best.
Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to face and overcome your financial fears. After all, fear is the state of mind.
This article tells you how to keep yourself from falling victim of money-related anxieties.
Losing your job
The thought of losing your income source is scary for obvious reasons. Thinking about how you will sustain your family, pay your bills, and take care of other basic needs without a job, can be nerve-wracking.
How to face the fear of losing a job
You can start by identifying the cause of your worries; is it the new employee who came into your office or is it the warning letter that your boss gave you? Are you incompetent? Don’t you have the right papers that qualify you for the job? Having an idea of what’s triggering your fears will help you in coming up with the solution. For instance, if you didn’t graduate college, then, you can enroll back to school, and if it’s a warning letter, you may start taking care of your job or even sharpen your skills to secure your position in the organization.
We asked Joyce about her thoughts on fears around losing a job, here’s what she said, “While losing a job can be devastating, it doesn’t mean that life has to stop. The right thing to do is to have enough finances on-hand to cover at least six months of expenses should you lose a job. This way, you’ll have enough backup while you try to find a new job. I believe saving is the best way to ensure you have disposable funds. If you haven’t started saving, it’s never too late; there are plenty of SACCOs in Kenya where you can save. With enough money in your account, it’s highly likely that you won’t be overwhelmed by the thought of losing your job.”
Medical emergency expenses
You’re healthy, your loved ones are healthy, but you can’t stop worrying about how you’ll pay for medical costs in case any of you falls ill. Well, you’re only human, and it’s good to worry. However, when your fears get out of hand, then there you have a problem that needs fixing, fast.
How to face the fear of medical expenses
Getting insurance coverage is a crucial step toward protecting your family from unexpected situations like medical emergencies or accidents. But even with the backup of insurance, it’s essential to have some financial savings that will cater for any out-of-pocket expenses or deductibles that may arise in the crisis. And when you face massive costs that your savings cannot suffice, like having a sick family member who has to go abroad for a special medical attention, or perhaps the insurance doesn’t cover the sick person at all, then you can turn to a trusted SACCOs in Kenya for financial assistance.
Fear due to accruing debts can result in anxiety, depression, insomnia and even a rise in blood pressure. While they say money can’t buy happiness, it can be difficult to imagine you feeling joy over your unpaid bills.
How to face your fear of overwhelming debts
Joyce says, “A good financial principle to live by is only to take a loan that you can afford to pay. Often, this will be based on your income capacity, credit history, capital and the conditions of your lender. Take time to calculate the risk involved, and check whether or not you’re fully comfortable making the repayments as expected. Loans help people to build homes, expand businesses, get through schools and all, and so, it’s a good thing. All you need is well-thought out payment strategy to help you manage your debt.
If you’re living from paycheck-to-paycheck, you’re probably wondering how life is going to be like once you retire. How are you going to sustain yourself, how are you going to pay for your expenses are some of the questions that may be running through your head.
How to face your fear of retirement
You’ve probably heard of the cliché the earlier you start saving, the better. This couldn’t be any truer than in this situation. Having a healthy retirement account of any sorts can grant you the peace that you so desire in your post-retirement life. SACCOs in Kenya provide the best option for saving your money; you can save with them, and have your money work for you. You get to enjoy annual interests and dividends from your money.
If saving isn’t your cup of tea, you can try setting up automatic deposits for your retirement funds. This will minimize the pressure of having to calculate how much money goes into a retirement account each month, and can also help you in adjusting your spending habits.
Olivia Kibaba is a Kenyan-based freelance writer and business blogger. She’s a mother of one boy (Jaden), loves traveling, watching movies and meeting new people. She also runs her personal blog oliviakibaba.com.