Did you know what impact stress can have on your body, your relationships and your life? Stress can accumulate for a variety of reasons, but money worries and debt is one of the major reasons that people across the world suffer from stress and sleepless nights.

According to a recent credit report, 4 in 10 people will rely on credit cards to pay for their groceries this month. This highlights how difficult people are finding managing their money, as well as how easy it is to rely on credit to pay for everyday needs. It is also easy for debt to stack up quickly without you even realizing. If you are meeting the minimum repayments, the amount of debt you owe can still climb out of control. And this is where the stress sets in.

Stress over money worries is known to have effects on:

  • Sleep quality
  • Relationships 
  • Family life
  • Blood pressure levels
  • Anxiety issues
  • Depression

Online loan provider Wonga recently conducted a survey to see how people understood their levels of debt and why debt can become such a problem. They found that out of the 18000 people surveyed, many people said savings were still a massive issue. Without savings to fall back on, and using credit as a fallback instead, many people became overwhelmed with debt and the interest accumulating on such debt. Wonga’s blog post also mentioned that debt management company DebtBusters commented that South Africans lacked the means and the knowledge to save. 

Could this be the main problem we are facing when it comes to debt? A simple lack of education or financial literacy may underpin many of the problems South Africans have with saving money and managing their money. People need to learn how to compare products effectively, how to understand the terms and conditions of a loan, what savings accounts are best, how to manage outgoings and incomings properly, and so on. Of course, there is nothing wrong with taking out a personal loan when in need. If you have a good reason for needing the money, such as for home improvements, an education class or to buy a car, this could be considered as ‘good credit’ and provided you understand the repayment terms, there would be no real risk or problem with this kind of debt. 

However, when you are using loans to pay monthly bills, or you want to splash out on something like a holiday which you really cannot afford, this could be where the problems set in. What’s the answer to eliminating your stress? Get on top of your debt. Understand your debt. Consolidate your debt if you need to. Seek help if you are struggling. Speak to family and friends to share the stress and burden. And never keep it to yourself – this can only exacerbate problems and increase your stress further.