What do stress and anxiety really cost?

Stress is a normal thing in life – but sometimes it becomes too much.
Sometimes normal people have stressful situations that come across their path. Often it’s the combination of a few life events that turn for the worst.

You’re not stressing alone

Many people stress because of money – they overspent, the plastic MasterCard debt monster catches up to them or they lost their life savings in a Ponzi scheme. Now sitting with their world in pieces, they try to make a living. It’s not a great place to be and there’s nothing people can say to make this better. That is unless they’re willing to give you R 1000 000 000 to solve your problems.

Though I don’t have the debt monster chasing me (I manage my money fairly well), I have my own fair share of stress and anxiety – from work to close family having been diagnosed with cancer. 

What all of this has taught me over the last few months is the fact that stress and anxiety cost money. You might not believe me, but it all adds up: you spend some on eating out, another on a massage and then some more for a weekend away just so that you can rest. Notwithstanding the fatigue and burnout, you can reach if you don’t keep it all in check!

Getting rid of the stress pre and post-crisis

In my opinion, everyone spends money on getting rid of stress. Some spend it on drones, others spend it on medical bills due to it being left unchecked.

Ideally, you want to be proactive – I highly recommend keeping stress in check before it spirals out of control  – you can check out my posts on habits with will be able to help with getting started in making habits that will help you de-stress. It’s really worth it starting today to shape good habits – both financial and personal.

On the other hand, many people struggle already and are required to see a doctor for some happy pills – and that’s okay! We all need a crutch at times! It’s here where I recommend that you should have an emergency fund in place for in case something bad happens (check out my post on emergency funds here).

What’s the point

Well, now having been around the block, I can see clearly that our value system in everyday life is retarded. we don’t value our health, but we want more money. We value stuff above experiences and relationships. 

Here are some examples of the things I have started to value more and less:

  • I value my relationships more
  • The coffee that I enjoy before work sometimes adds value to my life
  • The time I spend with my wife is irreplaceable
  • I value what others think of me less
  • I care less about the number in the bank and more about how the money adds to my freedom and passive income
  • I make more money available in my budget for relaxation and de-stressing, as this allows me to save money later on health care bills

Those who say money can’t buy happiness don’t know where to shop
– Gertrude Stein

People will often claim that money will solve all your problems – which is sort of true as it makes your life a lot easier. It can also be an enabler to the things we value.

In this lies a caveat: Money cannot buy happiness and nor can it buy true friendship. 

Tips from someone who has been around the block

I don’t claim that I know it all, yet as a page from my journal, here are some thoughts:

  • Calculate how much money every month you spend on stress-relieving
    • include massages, holidays, eating out (when you’re too tired to cook), the toys you buy (drones, PC games, alcohol, meth)
    • Would a lower-stress job be worth it if you cut back on this?
  • Do weekly stress reflections to make sure you’re not over(h)eating.
    •  Check and monitor the things causing the stress (money, debt, work, relationships, etc.)
  • Learn stress relief exercises to help manage stress before it becomes a big issue.
    • You can check out mindfulness, breathing exercises and general exercise for starters
    • Upskill yourself in areas that might cause you stress. If you have debt issues, look into personal finance and upskill yourself in fun ways (e.g. games and interesting conversations).
  • Have an emergency fund / medical aid in place in case something happens


We know the clichés, but the fact is that you are ultimately in control of your life – even if you don’t care or don’t monitor it. 

Keep yourself in check and don’t die. 

I do want to stress however that we shouldn’t keep on complaining and do nothing about it. We need to action on our issues.

Work with what we have.

Move forward.

Happy investing!