Everyone has a story about money, either accumulating it, losing it, their successes and their failures. However, a subject I have found taboo is the correlation between money worries and mental health problems. I know friends who struggle with their finances – sometimes based on their priorities or the need to keep up with the Joneses and sometimes, just unforeseen circumstances beyond their control. However, we all like to look like we have it together, don’t we? Most of us don’t talk about money with friends, especially money problems. We may feel we can tell them how well our children are doing at school, or how stressful our lives are working and trying to run a home at the same time, or even our health issues, but none of us really talk about money issues that may be taking up emotional real estate.
The truth is, over 46% of people in problem debt also have mental health problems and according to research done by the Money and Mental Health survey and 86% of the people they surveyed said that their financial situation made their mental health problems worse. How can you alleviate money worries that can lead to mental health problems? Here are my two tips – there are many, but I feel these are key and I hope they can help you:
Talking about money with those you trust
There is a saying that I love – “a problem shared is a problem halved”. Just as we encourage our children to speak to us when they feel overwhelmed about anything, we as adults need to feel we can talk to someone about our struggles and that sometimes means swallowing our pride and actively seeking help. It may surprise you that some of the friends you think live perfect lives, don’t actually have it all together, and would be more than willing to talk through and share their successes and failures with you. There is always someone willing to help, so reach out!
Equip yourselves with tools to help you with your money
When you have tools in place to manage your money, whether that looks like a little budgeting book that you write your expenses in, so you are aware realistically of what you have spent in a month or whether you are super organised and use a super-duper spreadsheet, it can help you feel like you have some control over your finances. You can then start to see your finances for what they are and create margin where you can. If you don’t have any margin at the end of the month and you really are in dire straits and need some help, there is always StepChange debt charity who can help you get on the road to clearing your debt and getting some much needed solutions to your money problems.
Money matters can get overwhelming but I think the key is to deal with them before they become a problem. Sign up to our Financial Wellbeing Essentials to help you learn to manage your money better. If this is something your workplace might be interested in, let us know and we will be in touch.
Disclaimer: The above information does not replace financial advice. Please ensure you seek independent financial advice before making any decisions regarding your finances. We also recommend that you carry out your own research to ensure that this is right for your own unique circumstances. Please note that we sometimes link to other websites but we cannot be held responsible for their content.