If you’re experiencing financial stress, you’re dealing with two distinct issues: the money problems, and then the stress itself.
While Headspace has rolled out meditations specifically to help tackle financial stress, a new app has gone one step further to try and tackle both issues at once.
Developed with neuropsychologists, mindfulness and financial experts, the Financial Mindfulness app comes off the back of two years of research and aims to help people reduce financial, credit card and mortgage stress by addressing the way the stress itself is handled.
“The way we deal with particular stressors impacts everything that comes after,” said Financial Mindfulness founder and CEO Andrew Fleming.
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Worrying obsessively with money can lead some to start seeing life as just keeping ahead of their financial problems. “Inevitably, that exhausts us.”
“When financial stress is reduced, we get some peace of mind, our relationships improve, and we are more engaged in our jobs.”
But can the Financial Mindfulness actually help me with my finances?
Just because the app is primarily aimed at tackling the ‘stress’ of financial stress doesn’t mean that app is light on financial guidance.
To improve users’ ease of mind and change habits, it uses a mix of financial literacy, goal-setting, and positive reinforcement to help develop new behaviours for better money management.
"Financial Mindfulness also has the ability to measure users levels of financial stress and then measure changes in those levels,” Fleming told Yahoo Finance.
“There has never been a solution available like this to ease the heavy burden of consumers' financial stress."
The app is available in the App Store and Google Play in both Australia and the US and offers two free learning modules: ‘Paying Bills’ and ‘Stress Management’.
You can access the rest of the modules, such as ‘Managing Credit Cards’, Managing Mortgages’ and ‘Unexpected Expenses’ for a one-off payment of $1.49 per module.
More than 20 modules are in the pipeline – expect to see ‘Managing Money in Relationships’, ‘Loss of Employment’, ‘Divorce & Separation’ and ‘Under-Earning’ before long.
Though the app only went to app stores this month, Fleming said user testing found financial stress was lowered after just one use of the app.
“Most users said their mood about personal finances also improved,” Fleming added.
“The users were intrigued because they'd never heard of a tool that addresses financial stress in this way.”