How to manage financial stress during the pandemic


The coronavirus is taking a toll on Americans’ financial health, stoking stress levels for many people who don’t know where their next paycheck will come from. 

Nearly two in three adults this year said money is a significant source of stress in their life, according to the American Psychological Association’s “Stress in America” survey. At the same time, roughly half of adults said they have experienced a negative financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These stressors have driven some of those who are in despair to substance abuse, domestic violence and even suicide.

Financial adviser Rebecca Walser, president of Walser Wealth Management, said those who are struggling to make ends meet should consider creating a “bridge plan” that will allow them to cover immediate costs like food and shelter. 

Covering basic necessities can offer one the “headspace” to focus on a longer-term financial planning strategy that can help ease stress down the line, Walser explained.

“Your brain, once it knows it’s going to be able to be sheltered and have food for your family, then you can turn and you can de-escalate the stress,” she told CBSN. 

Walser also suggested reaching out to a professional who can help with a financial game plan, and weigh the benefits and drawbacks of emergency measures such as withdrawing retirement funds from one’s 401(k), for example. 

“Before pulling the trigger,” she cautioned, “have a conversation with a professional to understand ramifications.”

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