Debt Restruct

How South Africans Can Deal with Financial Stress Caused by Debt

Debt among South Africans is becoming a severe issue. In the past few years, the amount of debt in South Africa increased to 3.18 trillion Rand by 2020. There is now more money owed in South Africa than there is money available in the entire African continent.

Let’s discuss how South Africans can deal with financial stress caused by debt and over-indebtedness. 


How Financial Stress Affects Your Wellbeing

Financial stress can have a huge impact on your mental and physical wellbeing. By reducing the stress you feel, you’ll be able to address your concerns about money with less anxiety, reflect clearly on the pressures you’re facing, and come up with constructive solutions.


Impact of Stress on Mental Health

Millions of people in South African suffer from financial stress. The pressure of coming up with the money to pay for outstanding bills, fear of failure, and lack of control are just some factors that contribute to debt-related stress.

This can easily transition into other areas of personal wellbeing – such as mental health. 

The inability to meet basic financial obligations or partake in traditional leisure activities can cause severe anxiety and lead to feelings of inadequacy. Feeling like you can’t keep up or a sense of worthlessness starts to plague you, and if nothing is done to address these negative emotions, these feelings may turn into depression.

Without the right state of mind, managing finances becomes impossible, and stress starts to blind us.


Impact of Financial Stress on Physical Health

People under financial stress experience anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia, and poor appetite. These feelings can then lead to various illnesses such as high blood pressure, ulcers, heart disease, and obesity.

Not to mention the dietary impact that the inability to afford food (or healthy food) can have on an individual or their family.


Risk of Delayed Healthcare Because of Budget Restrictions

If you are over-indebted, you might be struggling to afford your basic living expenses, nevermind additional emergency costs that come up from time to time. Thus, your financial situation could impact your ability to seek immediate treatment.

Delayed healthcare can lead to more significant health problems as well as a lower quality of service.

Strategies and Coping Mechanisms

Here are some strategies to consider for coping with the debilitating side effects of financial stress:


1. Strategies for coping with mental health issues.

There is a direct correlation between financial stress and loss of peace of mind. It is not surprising then that doctors and other healing professionals recommend reducing stress levels and managing them effectively for better outcomes. 

Considering your finances, you might not be interested in paying for therapy or medicine right now. If that’s the case, turn to the internet for advice and techniques that you can start using to improve your mental health.

In addition to learning more about the subject, professionals often recommend making time for a short walk during the day. An outdoor walk has many positive side-effects that can help improve relaxation and give you time to contemplate how to solve your debt problem calmly.

Check to see if you qualify to reduce your debt instalment with our quick quiz

2. Strategies for coping with physical health issues.

The best way to address illness is to get medical assistance. It is better to get some help rather than none. Even if you can only afford to see a doctor once or twice, it will mitigate the symptoms that you may be experiencing, preventing your problems from getting worse.


3. Strategies for general stress management and wellbeing practices.

If it is not possible to get any medical assistance at all due to budget restrictions, then the next best thing is to take preventative measures.

For improving your mental health, consider adopting stress management techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, exercise, and so on.

For improving your physical health, consider adopting healthy lifestyle choices such as improving diet, getting regular physical exercise, and improving sleep quality to give the body enough time to heal itself.



Practical Solutions to Manage Financial Issues

Here are a few suggestions that you can use to improve your finances:


1. Create a budget.

Create a spreadsheet to track your income and expenses. If you find this difficult, use budgeting software. It will help you manage your money better by automating some tasks and allowing you to create budgets with ease. It also helps in tracking finances and forecasting taxes.


2. Declutter your budget.

Some ways to declutter your budget, making it easier to manage, include:


  • Setting up financial goals to help you keep yourself on track and avoid straying from your plan.
  • Cutting costs by switching to a cheaper bank account or credit card.
  • Making a list of expenses that you can eliminate – like unnecessary subscriptions and memberships (Sorry, Netflix).
  • Take inventory of your finances.


It would help if you got an overall picture of your finances. This will help you develop strategies for progressively increasing your income and decreasing your expenses.


3. Track your progress in improving your personal finances.

There are multiple ways to track your progress. Track the following things every month:

  • By how much you are reducing your debt every month.
  • How much money you can put into your savings account to build your emergency fund every month.
  • How successfully you have avoided using credit cards for small purchases. 
  • How successfully you have cut back on unnecessary purchases and stopping monthly subscriptions.


4. Get outside help to improve how your debt is managed and understand the debt cycle.

Sign up for debt review so that a debt counsellor can help you take care of your debt – so that you can focus on your health. 

Debt review has a number of benefits that help reduce the financial stress caused by debt.

For instance, a new combined reduced monthly debt instalment makes it easier to pay back what you owe each month and keep track of your debt. Additionally, legal intervention protects you from creditors and the risk of losing your belongings. And finally, with your expenses taken into account, you’ll be able to afford all of your necessities and repay your debt at the same time.


Thousands of South Africans choose debt review because it works – and it can work for you too.

Hopefully, you’re excited to try out some or all these suggestions. Stay committed to regaining financial control and focus on your health. The rest will follow.

Do you know whether you qualify?

Find out if you’re eligible to reduce your debt and protect your belongings.

Disclaimer: This website and any information herein is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, financial, tax, legal, investment, credit, or other advice. Before making any decision or taking any action regarding your finances, you should consult a qualified professional directly.

Start managing your money better with Debt Restruct today