The relationship between mental health and money is strong. Debt and increased stress surrounding your finances can have serious negative effects on your state of mind. Understanding your finances and your spending habits can help keep you healthy mentally.
For most people, an adequate amount of money means feeling a sense of security. It can also mean freedom. An article written for debt.org further elaborates by saying, “Having enough money to pay all our bills allows us to provide for our families, plan for the future and enjoy our leisure time. Not having money restricts our choices and wreaks emotional havoc on our psyche. Borrowing money to pay those bills leads to debt, which can lead to all sorts of problems that have nothing to do with accounting and everything to do with psychology. Among the negative effects are low self-esteem and impaired cognitive functioning. That means you can’t learn, remember, be attentive or solve problems as well when you’re freaking out over your water bill.” Decreased brain function due to financial stress can cause us to make terrible decisions. In order to operate at our best, both a positive relationship with money and smart fiscal choices are essential.
Your Relationship with Money
If you have poor spending habits and don’t know how to control yourself, it might be appropriate for you to analyze your relationship with money. Ask yourself some of the following questions: 1. What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘money’? 2. Growing up, were the adults in your life positive financial role models? 3. How are the financial decisions of your past effecting your present? and 4. What is your ideal financial scenario? These are just a few questions that can help you get to the bottom of your feelings surrounding money. If you’d like to explore this more in depth, Amanda Frances wrote an excellent article regarding this topic for forbes.com. Her detailed questions can help shed some light on where your issues lie.
Getting your Finances on Track
The first step to getting your finances on track involves setting goals. When you identify where you want to be, you can start to develop a financial plan that will allow you to move forward in a positive direction. After you’ve set your goals, and made a plan, take a look at your budget and see where you can sacrifice in order to meet your goals. The most common places where people overspend are on groceries and dining out. Give yourself a strict budget and stick to it! It can be super difficult, but you will feel so much better mentally when you are working hard to get your finances in order.
Negativity surrounding your money will ultimately have you feeling down. However, there are concrete steps you can take in order to remedy the situation. Keep your bank account and your mental health on the right track by changing your financial habits.