How to Deal with Emotional Price of Financial Troubles

Posted on December 30, 2014 by Shawn Friday, MEd, LPC, CEAP

Financial Troubles are Common for Many

Financial Empty WalletFor many Americans, the financial crisis of 2008 is just a distant memory, yet for others the memories and problems posed by the financial downturn are having a real impact on their quality of life today.

While personal bankruptcy and foreclosure rates are falling, there are still many people struggling to pay mortgages on houses that are worth less than they were when purchased. Others are struggling just to make minimum payments on credit card debt at high interest rates.

"Many people experience trauma around financial issues," says Jane Pauly, senior consultant for VITAL WorkLife. "Some have anxiety or depression, and others are paralyzed by shame, fear or a refusal to accept what's happened or what needs to happen next." The stress reaction associated with financial issues may also cause people to lose focus at work, be short tempered or distracted when with friends or family, have trouble sleeping, or lose interest in eating or overeat.

Free Financial Consultation

If you or someone in your family is having financial difficulties, your VITAL WorkLife benefit includes a free, confidential 30 minute phone consultation with one our financial counselors. During that call, we'll work with you to find possible causes and solutions to your financial problems.

There are many options to consider when figuring out how to best address financial questions and issues or manage your debt. Areas where our financial counselors can help include:

  • Budgeting Get your finances on track with a consultation and materials for your personal or family budget. Determining your monthly net income, expenses and coming up with a budget is usually the best place to start.
  • Financial Planning Whether you have questions related to your retirement, your investments or want to start saving for a child's college fund, one of our Certified Financial Planners can not only help—but can also provide discounts on their services.
  • Debt Management Ask about consolidating your debt into one, lower monthly payment, while learning ways to improve your financial health.

Support Every Step Of The Way

While our financial counselors can help you create a plan, they can't help you cope with your emotional reaction to financial realities that might include selling your home, living on a restrictive budget or declaring personal bankruptcy.

That's why your benefit includes both face-to-face counseling sessions and unlimited telephone support with master's and doctorate level professionals.

"Letting go of shame and a sense of failure is just as important as embracing a new budget," says Pauly. "The two go hand in hand. You have to figure out what's really important to you in order to accept what needs to happen as you move forward. "

Some people benefit from support groups where people facing similar and often worse financial problems talk through the challenges they're facing—and share their successes. Our consultants would be happy to discuss your options and refer you to appropriate resources.

"For most people, the key is living for today," says Pauly. "If you're worrying about what's going to happen ten years down the line, it's easy to become overwhelmed. You need to focus on what you can do today and finding joy in what you're doing."

We Can Help

Your EAP benefit also includes unlimited access to a wealth of online financial resources on the VITAL WorkLife Member Website, including articles, financial calculators, eLearning courses, seminars and more. 

Contact us to access your resources and get the support you need!

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