There is often a link between financial struggles and poor mental health; the former can lead to the latter, and the latter can lead to the former all over again, creating a vicious cycle that can feel impossible to break free from.
While it is common knowledge that saving up some cash – whether through a well-thought-out emergency fund or just a general savings plan – helps maintain a level of monetary security, it seldom results in a peaceful state of mind all on its own.
Many Americans prioritize their financial health over their physical and mental well-being; it’s not uncommon to lose sleep over money, feel like your relationships are strained because of it, or to fear the future of your finances.
If you tend to find yourself in such a situation (experiencing mental strain and distress due to financial stressors), it helps to seek out practical advice from resources like MyTherapist, which provides articles about mental health that are free for the public, and reviewed by licensed counselors.
Aside from seeking out mental health care, you can also implement a few specific techniques, discussed in depth below, into your routine to help stabilize your finances and begin to regain control over your life.
Organizing Your Finances
Instead of trying to avoid all the emails, bills, and calls coming your way, become aware of all your financial channels by creating a catalog for all your finances.
While tempting, avoidance or letting things pile up will likely only worsen your long-term situation.
There are plenty of apps that can help you study your spending patterns, monitor your income, debt, expenditure, and all other transactions for you on a monthly basis; as a bonus, many of them are free!
Once you’ve become familiar with an app (or another resource you use to track these details) and its feedback towards your patterns and triggers, look to make small changes in your financial behavior.
You can even start out with small, but sustainable, things, like eliminating impulse spending, or cooking your own meals instead of ordering in.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, but create a plan that you think you can follow fairly easily and try your best to stick to it.
Once you identify where you tend to overspend, you can determine where you want your money to go in the future by coming up with a plan that involves a budget.
You can budget however you want – you could, for instance, have one monthly budget or even a weekly one, or you could even divide some things for a monthly plan and some things for a separate weekly plan.
For example, if you tend to buy groceries on a weekly basis, or pay for a taxi to work, you could put these under your weekly budget. Other things, such as rent and utility bills would usually go on a monthly budget.
You could even go a step further and set aside an amount for any form of annual expenditure, like insurance or tax, on a monthly basis. This helps you break down your spending patterns into smaller chunks, making them easier to keep track of and manage.
You may also want to factor in a certain monthly or quarterly amount for any unexpected events that may come your way, such as medical expenses or home repairs.
Save Money When Possible
It helps to keep looking for ways to save your money even while trying to make a little more of it. There are plenty of ways to generate passive income streams, most of which require minimal time and effort.
In terms of saving money, even a small amount every week can go a long way. If you don’t yet have a medium through which to save money, prioritize setting one up sooner rather than later.
Saving is something that’s easy to forget about, and sometimes, it’s hard to see why it’s even worthwhile.
Some of the most stressful and life-altering expenses, though, are those that come up suddenly. Having as much saved as you can means that you’ll be better equipped for these sorts of situations and save yourself a lot of grief.
Final Thoughts: Know When to Seek Help
Virtually everyone struggles with finances from time to time, but it’s important to recognize, as mentioned earlier, when your stress may be evolving into something more severe.
If you are consistently bogged down by the consequences of your financial concerns – anxiety, depression, having a hard time taking care of yourself, etc. – it’s always worth it to seek the professional help you deserve.
Cost doesn’t have to be a barrier here, either. Online therapy services are often cheaper than those that exist in-person, and even if you’re not sure you can afford even the most accessibly priced option, it never hurts to reach out to professionals who specifically service individuals in financially difficult situations.
Some offices and platforms even offer free services or access to important resources. Try not to immediately write mental health care off as something you can’t achieve – more and more people over time are finding ways to implement these sorts of services into their routine, and if needed, you too can be one of them.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MyTherapist.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.