In today's fast-paced world, it's no secret that financial stress can take a toll on our mental and emotional wellbeing. Recent studies from the Financial Health Network and the American Psychological Association shed light on the staggering statistics: 4 in 10 Americans report high or moderate financial stress, and a whopping 66% say money is a significant source of stress. The Financial Health Network also found that people with the lowest incomes in a given area are 1.5 to 3 times as likely to experience mental health issues, like depression and anxiety, as high-income people in the same area.

At Chartway Credit Union, we understand the profound impact financial health can have on mental wellbeing, and we're here to help our members navigate these challenges with confidence and support. In this blog post, we walk you through the causes of financial stress, its emotional impact, and the negative feedback loop it can create. The good news is that there are resources to help you get back on track and on your way to financial fitness.

Causes of Financial Stress

Financial stress can stem from various sources, ranging from income instability to overwhelming debt and strained relationships. Income instability, irregular work hours, and temporary employment arrangements can leave people feeling uncertain about their financial future. High debt levels, insufficient savings, and poor financial habits only exacerbate the situation, leading to constant worry and anxiety. The pressure to meet financial obligations, such as rent or mortgage payments, bills and loan repayments, can feel overwhelming, especially for those living paycheck to paycheck.

Emotional Impact of Financial Stress

The emotional toll of financial stress cannot be overstated. It manifests in various ways, from persistent stress and anxiety to depression and strained relationships. Constantly worrying about money can take a significant toll on mental wellbeing, leading to feelings of guilt, shame, and inadequacy. Low self-esteem and social isolation often accompany financial struggles, as you may feel ashamed or embarrassed about your situation. This negative feedback loop can prolong unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as retail therapy and impulsive spending, which only worsen the financial strain and worsen physical health issues like high blood pressure, insomnia, and even gastrointestinal problems.

Navigating Financial Stress with Chartway Credit Union & Your Employer

At Chartway Credit Union, we believe in empowering you and our team members to take control of their financial health and wellbeing. We offer a range of resources and support services designed to alleviate financial stress and promote mental wellness:

  1. GreenPath Financial Wellness: Our partnership with GreenPath provides you with free financial counseling and resources to manage debt, create budgets, and develop healthier financial habits. GreenPath's certified financial counselors offer personalized guidance and support tailored to your unique needs and circumstances.

  2. Credit Score Monitoring: Understanding and monitoring your credit score is crucial for financial stability. We provide you with access to tools and resources to track their credit scores and identify areas for improvement. By maintaining good credit health, you’ll have access better financial opportunities and reduce stress related to borrowing and lending.

  3. Financial Coaching: Our team of experienced financial coaches who are FiCEP certified is dedicated to helping you achieve your financial goals and overcome obstacles. Whether you're struggling with debt, saving for a major purchase, or planning for retirement, our coaches provide personalized guidance and support every step of the way.

  4. Employee Assistance Program (EAP): We understand that financial stress can impact you, your family, and your workplace. An Employee Assistance Program can offer confidential counseling and support services to employees and their families, helping them navigate personal and financial challenges with compassion and professionalism. Check to see if your workplace offers an EAP program as a benefit of employment.

  5. Community Resources: In addition to our internal resources, Chartway partners with local organizations and community agencies to connect team members with additional support services, such as food assistance, housing assistance, and mental health counseling. Your workplace may leverage a network of similar community partners to ensure you have access to comprehensive support to address your holistic wellbeing.

At Chartway Credit Union, we recognize the interconnectedness of financial health and mental wellbeing. By addressing the root causes of financial stress and providing comprehensive support services for both our members and team members, we empower everyone to achieve greater financial stability and peace of mind. Together, we can navigate life's financial challenges with confidence and resilience, building a brighter future for ourselves and our communities. Let's embark on this journey toward thriving in financial wellness together.