Posted: 14 Aug. 2020 4 min. read

Financial stress in the midst of crisis

By Manussawin Narinthorn

Manussawin is an Audit semi-senior at Deloitte, based in Bangkok, Thailand. An experimental and spontaneous guy, Manussawin loves reading, walking, and living passionately.

 

“Having enough money to pay the bills is a long-running cause of stress for many, but it’s especially acute for millennials and Gen Zs.” According to the Global Millennial Survey 2020 conducted by Deloitte, many millennials are financially prudent and literate, but two out of three often worry about their financial situations. Only half said they have at least three months income in the bank, and almost a third have missed a payment in the past six months.

As a Gen Z, I know of many peers who have set clear financial goals for the short- and long-term. We are confident in financial products and services and believe we have the right level of knowledge to make informed decisions. However, our financial situations are still concerning.

Me at the Deloitte Thailand office pre-COVID

I use personal financial statements to take charge of my financial future. They consist of a personal balance sheet and the personal statement of cash flows.

I use the personal balance sheet to track changes in my transactions, conduct wealth analysis, and evaluate the progress of my financial goals. It also helps me monitor my income earning and shopping habits, as well as forecast future income and expenses.

As for my personal cash flow statements, I use them to diagnose whether I have a problem with spending more than my income or if I have superfluous expenditures. They help me correct inappropriate spending habits, so I can control my finances more efficiently.

I feel relieved when I view the financial information from my personal financial statement analysis; it helps me know my financial status, including commitments, which may affect financial planning. For example, when my financial statements show a lot of debt, it may prevent me from having more investment assets. If I have low liquidity, then I need to consider building emergency funds before accumulating personal assets. Also, if I know that I have the potential to create wealth, I will then begin to assess the risk profile to plan my investments to achieve my financial goals.

I cannot deny that this pandemic has escalated my financial stress; it affects my state of mind, as well. Social distancing may be contributing to feelings of social isolation. “Rather than sounding like you have to socially separate from your family and friends, ‘physical distancing’ simplifies the concept with the emphasis on keeping 6 feet away from others,” says Dr. Shahida Fareed, a psychologist at Geisinger Grays Woods.

I find that getting enough sleep is wonderful medicine to help with the stress that I face each day, but using my smartphone to browse news updates before bed always causes me to lose sleep. Moreover, I can feel fluctuating emotions caused by sleep deprivation continue into the next day. I try to stop those behaviors, and I would say that it does help. I have also seen a psychologist when dealing with a significant mental health concern. I believe that consulting others allowed me to find new resources.

I also appreciate humor. Every time I laugh, I can feel the endorphins and serotonin healing my anxiety. Taking care of ourselves both physically and mentally is incredibly important. So, live, love, and laugh, and we can all make an impact that matters together!

Millennials and Gen Zs hold the key to creating a “better normal”. Explore more about the Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2020.