What Is Financial Burnout and What Can You Do To Alleviate It?

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You may be familiar with the concept of burnout, but what about when it’s being caused by your finances?

GOBankingRates spoke with Emily Koochel Ph.D., senior financial planning education consultant at eMoney Advisor, about exactly what financial burnout is, and what you can do about it.

What Is Financial Burnout?

Financial burnout is similar to job burnout, but its causes and symptoms are different.

“General symptoms of burnout include fatigue, irritability, insomnia, a sense of incompetence, excessive stress, anxiety and depression, which have been linked to more serious physical illnesses such as high blood pressure and heart disease,” Koochel said. “Financial burnout, however, generally presents itself as being despondent about our own money management.”

Koochel outlined some of the signs that you may be suffering from financial burnout:

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“Most people have experienced some level of financial stress, but higher levels over extended periods of time may manifest beyond general feelings of uncertainty and present physically,” Koochel said. “Commonly, those who are experiencing financial stress may also experience financial anxiety — all of which can be debilitating.

“Financial anxiety can result in difficulty controlling worry, sleeping or even physically through muscle tension and fatigue,” she continued. “Financial stress is our inherent physiological response to threat. Physiological stress is essentially the body’s reaction to the fight or flight response. When the brain receives a stressor signal, it tells the body to prepare for physical activity — to fight or flee.”

Prolonged periods of financial anxiety or financial stress can lead to financial burnout.

What’s Causing Financial Burnout?

Although financial burnout can impact you at any time, it tends to be more prevalent during times of financial crisis.

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“Many Americans are still feeling the aftershocks of the fiscal consequences of the pandemic — they are no strangers to financial uncertainty,” Koochel said.

Worries about inflation, recession and job uncertainty can also lead to financial burnout.

How To Alleviate Financial Burnout

“Financial burnout can be debilitating,” Koochel said. “Even if you were once someone who had every dollar organized in the perfect spreadsheet, you are not immune to feeling symptoms of financial burnout.”

When you start noticing symptoms of financial burnout, Koochel recommends taking the following steps to alleviate it:

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