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Financial Well-Being: Balancing Money and Mental Health

November 15th, 2022

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Are you stressing over balancing money and your mental health? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Recently, the American Psychological Association conducted a “Stress in America” survey and found that over 72% of adults stress over money. It’s no secret that balancing our mental health can feel overwhelming at times, especially with other responsibilities that may affect it such as work, family, bills, living situations, and so much more. Balancing your finances and mental health can be tricky, but to avoid feeling defeated, below are a few tricks to help get you back in control.

Create a Realistic Budget

Create a Realistic Budget

A budget helps you stay organized and allows you to relax without building up anxiety around your finances. Creating a realistic budget will help you visualize exactly how much you can comfortably spend each week. Start by determining your monthly income and listing all the expenses you have. The biggest thing you’ll need to determine is whether you’re spending too much on your rent, subscriptions, insurance, phone bill, or other monthly expenses you might have. Solutions to this include finding a cheaper phone plan, a new insurance company, eliminating unnecessary subscriptions, or locating a less expensive place to live.

If you currently live in an apartment, and they just raised your monthly rent because of the current economic state, you may want to consider finding a new place to live. This presents you with a great opportunity to look at purchasing a home versus renting if that’s something you’re interested in; to achieve this, assess your budget and determine how much house you can afford based on salary. To find out a price range you can search within, enter your location, yearly income, monthly debts, and how much money you can comfortably spend on the down payment and closing costs into a calculator. Once you’ve comfortably established your budget, you must stick to it to help ease the stress around finances and help you achieve those bigger goals like buying a home.

Find a Financial Advisor

Find a Financial Advisor

With the help of a professional, you’ll be able to take back control of your finances in no time. The more you know about how to control your money, the better prepared you’ll be when handling your accounts, budgets, debt, and other financial worries you might have. Be sure to find a reliable advisor or counselor with experience to help assist you with your accounts. A few preparations an advisor will assist you with are: helping you prepare for the unexpected, planning for your retirement, long-term and short-term goals, and safe decision-making. Additionally, they’ll help you set up a realistic spending plan where you can see the assets coming in and expenses going out.

Talk to Someone

On top of trusting a financial advisor, it’s also important that you talk to someone about your worries – whether that’s a therapist, friend, or family member. If you feel comfortable seeking professional help from an anxiety specialist, they’ll be able to help you work through your worries and fears that are disrupting your everyday life. With our world changing day-to-day, one beneficial thing about talking with a therapist is taking advantage of telehealth opportunities. This allows you to stay in the comfort of your own space while getting the help you need. It’s also crucial for you to lean on friends and family when you’re feeling anxious. Let them know you need them to either listen, provide a solution, or both. Mental health is hard to navigate alone, so opening up about it with someone you trust will allow you to get out any built-up worries or fears.

Challenge Unhelpful Thinking Patterns

Challenge Unhelpful Thinking Patterns

The National Institute of Mental Health reported that 52.9 million adults live with a mental illness. That’s nearly one in five adults. The takeaway from these statistics is that you’re NOT alone. There’s no shame in struggling with anxiety and stress, especially in the social media world we live in today. Try to stray away from comparing others' lifestyles to your own. Everyone has different situations and social media tends to bend the truth in the “real” world we live in. There’s no shame in struggling with finances – everyone does from time to time. Instead, try practicing mindfulness activities, such as taking deep breaths, learning yoga, improving your diet, and relaxing. With all the responsibilities, such as bills, work, and taking care of your family, it’s hard to find time for yourself. When you have downtime, find something you enjoy doing and actually do those things. Read a book, watch a T.V. series, go to bed early, take a bath, or pick up a new hobby. When you take the time to focus on yourself, you’ll be surprised how much it can truly positively impact your mental health.

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